The world’s first combination IHOP/Applebee’s restaurant is preparing to open its doors very soon in downtown Detroit. The restaurant better known by its couples name — IHOPplebee’s — began limited service for breakfast-only this week at the base of the Millender Center next to the Courtyard by Marriott Detroit Downtown hotel.
Tipsters alerted Eater to the new signage on the building late last week and city of Detroit employee and theneighborhoods.org editor Kinsey Clarke confirmed news that the restaurant had breakfast on Twitter this morning.
According to signs surrounding the new restaurant, IHOP currently opens from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Around 11:30 a.m. today, the location was hosting open calls for job applicants to help run the hybrid restaurant.
Local franchisee TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants, which opened Detroit’s first Applebee’s within city limits three years ago, announced the casual chain mashup in December 2016. The 11,939-square-foot restaurant double feature seats roughly 300 patrons. When it opens completely, the restaurant is expected to serve a limited selection of “guest-favorite menu items from both Applebee’s and IHOP.” The dine-in restaurant will be paired with a quick-service breakfast stand called Coffee Bar by IHOP that trades in coffee, espresso, breakfast burritos, and scrambled egg bowls. Eater has reached out to TEAM Schostak for more details on the opening timeline.
Whether the novel restaurant format will resonate with customers in the same way combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bells do remains to be seen. The casual chain sector has struggled in recent years with declining sales as consumer tastes changed. DineEquity, parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP, shut down 100 locations last year. Meanwhile, Applebee’s leaned into promotions like $1 cocktails to lure patrons back through the doors.
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