By mid-September, Hillsdale will have another place to eat sandwiches and sip specialty coffee. with the opening of Handmade Sandwiches and Beverages in the building that housed Oakley’s sub shop until December 2014.
Derek Spiteri, owner of the Hillsdale Street property and son of Checker Records owner John Spiteri, plans to serve specialty coffee inspired by his time at Checker Records, as well as gourmet subs.
“I’m really excited to see where this business takes me,” Spiteri said, “and I’m looking forward to all of the students coming back and experiencing it.”
Spiteri originally applied for a liquor license on July 18, which would allow him to microbrew draft beers and sell them within his establishment.
The resolution passed through the city council unanimously and was sent to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for approval. Three days later, an MLCC representative informed him that the license had been denied due to technicalities within the application, despite recommendation from the council for the license and confidence from Hillsdale Zoning Administrator Alan Beeker.
Before Spiteri was denied the license, Beeker said the council had no issues recommending Spiteri for approval.
“We are excited for the new business he’s taking on,” Beeker said. “It’s a win-win situation as far as the city is concerned.”
With his knowledge of cold brew coffee from his time working at Checker Records, Spiteri had planned to create a unique and original blonde ale made with vanilla coffee beans that would have been the flagship beverage of his new business.
“I’ve always had an affinity for coffee-flavored things,” Spiteri said, “and I want to share that with my customers, whether it’s a draft beer or a latte.”