The History of 150 E. Grand River & The Zynda Family
A little about the Zyndas
The Williamston Zyndas
The Williamston Zyndas have a long time history of entrepreneurship, restaurant ownership, and a love of food. If you grew up in the Zynda home, you’d expect to always come together at dinner time. The cupboards were packed with spices, and everyone worked together and played an important part in serving the family.
These were some of the strongest memories for marketing director Nikki Zynda. From their childhood family dinners grew a sincere appreciation for food and family today, and it’s why if you ask them – they’ll say confidently:
Food means family.
The Detroit Zyndas
The Detroit Zyndas (distant relatives to the Williamston Zynda family) started the White Eagle Brewery in Detroit which was one of the few local breweries to survive prohibition. Not without some major obstacles and daring moves.
Owner John Zynda literally dug underground, forming a tunnel to load beer into a getaway car around the corner. Continuing to run his business and serve his customers. Unstoppable. We like to think this incredible (if not somewhat risky) display of stick-to-it-iveness is a family trait.
So here’s the story...
Way back when...
Williamston started as a farming community. These four guys – the Williams brothers and the Putnam brothers, (also the names of the main drags in Williamston) helped the town get its start.
Williamston was originally a great place to stop for a bite, as people traveled along an old plank roadway all the way from Detroit (the former capital of Michigan) to Lansing. When Highway 96 was built in the 1960’s, it took traffic away from local businesses.
The town struggled and hit a financial low.
If you ask us, this was a blessing in disguise, as being close-to-broke prevented the town from making any renovations to its historic buildings that still stand today. It’s part of what gives Williamston its unique charm.
The town fought hard to find its way and eventually pulled more visitors in with a growing antique market. As its original roots were all about food (from a farming community to a pit-stop for weary travelers), it’s all the more appropriate that the city today has become a growing dining destination.