Hometown Heroes Coffee and More opened for business April 8 at the Essco Square shopping center on the northwest corner of 10 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue.

Hometown Heroes Coffee and More opened for business April 8 at the Essco Square shopping center on the northwest corner of 10 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue.

Photo by Brian Louwers


‘Hometown Heroes’ opens in Center Line’s downtown

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 13, 2018

 The Hall of Heroes is now started, where photos of cafe owner Dan Snyder’s father and grandfather hang on the wall, along with his grandfather’s burial flag in the triangular display case. There’s a table in the hallway with forms inviting patrons to nominate their own hometown hero to hang alongside them.

The Hall of Heroes is now started, where photos of cafe owner Dan Snyder’s father and grandfather hang on the wall, along with his grandfather’s burial flag in the triangular display case. There’s a table in the hallway with forms inviting patrons to nominate their own hometown hero to hang alongside them.

Photo by Brian Louwers

CENTER LINE — It’s fitting that in the space once home to Our Dad’s Place, Dan Snyder hung photos of his own dad and grandfather, both veterans of the U.S. Navy, in a “Hall of Heroes” along the back of his new cafe.

Hometown Heroes Coffee and More opened for business April 8, bringing new life to the Essco Square shopping center on the northwest corner of 10 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue. Snyder, who lives in Center Line and raised his family there, said he left a career in retail to open a place that offers something that’s been missing in the area.

“It’s a different kind of restaurant for around here. It’s a coffeehouse that has deli sandwiches,” Snyder said. “This is counter service. We’re trying to create a community meeting place that feels comfortable.”

The fresh, homey decor in the cafe is a rebirth for space that sat vacant for about eight years. After the popular Our Dad’s Place closed, the building was briefly home to a pancake restaurant.

Snyder said he’d talked about opening a restaurant or a bar but eventually settled on the current concept of a coffee shop with a twist — offering sandwiches and honoring Center Line’s own hometown heroes.

“Your school teacher. Your volunteer. Someone who does community service. A hero is defined by everyone as somebody different,” Snyder said. “We’re looking for an opportunity to celebrate that.”

The Hall of Heroes is now started, where photos of his father and grandfather hang on the wall, along with his grandfather’s burial flag in the triangular display case. There’s a table in the hallway with forms inviting patrons to nominate their own hometown hero to hang alongside them.

Snyder said he hopes to fill the hallway and that photos will eventually spill out into the main area.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said Hometown Heroes is exactly the kind of private investment that’s needed in an area that is currently the focus of the city’s development efforts.

“They are a local family, investing in their community. That makes him a hero in my eyes,” Champine said. “This just plays well in the Downtown Development Authority’s master plan for the downtown. It is a nice family restaurant that encourages people to stop, maybe get on their computer in a wireless environment, maybe have something good to eat.

“This is certainly part of the whole catalyst behind the downtown development and what our plans are for the Van Dyke corridor through Center Line,” Champine said.