Majorly Magical

By: Karen Dybis | January 31, 2020

Photo Courtesy of Sparks Pinball Museum.

Detroit has some legendary roads that are great for cruising as well as shopping – these streets include Woodward, Gratiot and, with renewed interest from entrepreneurs and residents, Groesbeck. 

Groesbeck Highway, which runs through cities including Detroit, Warren, Roseville and Mt. Clemens, is seeing new growth thanks to recently announced investment in restaurants, entertainment venues and other hot spots along its route. These newcomers are not only building new facilities, but they also are filling vacant spots, giving hope that this historic highway will have a fresh start in 2020.

One M-97 development that made headlines in January is the updated Major Magic complex. This site around 15 Mile Road and Groesbeck Highway is slated to become a family-friendly gaming center that will include classic pinball and video games through Chesterfield Township-based Sparks Pinball Museum.

Sparks representative Mike Bradley said they are bringing 10 beloved pinball machines to Major Magic when it opens, which could be within the next two weeks. 

“We brought classic video arcade games including Burgertime, Millipede, Donkey Kong, Punch Out, Circus Charlie and Ms Pac-Man,” Bradley said. “The games will be rotated from our collection of over 125 vintage pinball and video arcade machines.”

Bradley understands the excitement and enthusiasm around this project – because he and every other red-blooded kid and adult feels the same way. 

“We’re excited to provide original classic machines that adults will remember playing at the original Major Magic’s and be able to share the experience with their own children. The venue is set up to be welcoming to all ages,” Bradley said. 

And it is no exaggeration to say that around 4,000 people shared the Facebook post that Sparks put up on Jan. 2 about the gaming center. In its announcement, Sparks said it will provide some of the games that once were at the Major Magic’s on that site, bringing kids of all ages new cheer for this reboot. 

“At a time when Chuck E Cheese has announced its plan to remove all animatronic characters from their locations, this new location will also feature the original restored animatronic band from 1982. This vintage band was saved from the last Major Magic’s location in Ohio before it was destroyed,” the Sparks post said. “Sergeant Pepperoni, Flash, Barbara Stringband, Rock the Croc and the Major himself will be performing for a new generation!”

Down the road, a former Dunkin’ Donuts will become a Captain D’s seafood restaurant, the first of its kind to open in Michigan. The chain, which is based in Nashville, has more than 500 locations around the United States. Its specialties include fried catfish, crab cakes, chicken and more. 

Another much anticipated opening is the new Mi Pueblo, a traditional taqueria, which is supposed to open in a former sports bar location near Cass Avenue. 

For those history buffs, Groesbeck Highway got its start around October 1925 when Macomb County officials decided that they needed some relief from the congestion on Gratiot. So they decided to open a new highway or trunkline between Detroit and Mt. Clemens. The highway is named after once Michigan Governor Alex Groesbeck, a former Macomb County resident and state attorney general.