The Saline Inn’s Recipe for Longevity is Family, Friends, and Good Food


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

The Saline Inn is a proven recipe for success. The popular restaurant has been a warm and welcoming stop in the community for almost thirty years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Business partners Frank Daidone and Nick Kirkopoulos opened the Saline Inn in May 1995. The two are not only business partners but such close friends that they seamlessly complete each other’s thoughts. Catching up with the pair at the restaurant they founded, they told me how it got started.

“We were looking to buy a restaurant together, and we came out here to Saline in 1995,” began Nick.

“Because it’s a good area,” added Frank. “Opportunity knocked.”

“This place was available,” continued Nick.

“And so we came here,” finished Frank.

See what I mean? Frank and Nick are fun to talk with. The two are full of energy, and they love Saline. The community feels the same way about them. The first thing I noticed walking into the restaurant was that it was full. The sound of happy customers in conversation was punctuated by staff calling out to each other. The waitstaff bustled about, often stopping at a booth to exchange a line or two with the regulars. I couldn’t help but notice the restaurant was fully staffed.

Former owners Frank Daidone (L) and Nick Kirkopoulos (C) with new owner George Stamadianos (R).

While it is all a testament to the tradition Frank and Nick have created, it is also a validation of the transition on March 1 when the two original owners sold the Saline Inn to George Stamadianos. George was no stranger to the beloved restaurant. He ate many meals there with his parents while growing up. As an adult, George went into the restaurant business himself. Through a mutual supplier, he heard that Frank and Nick were ready to retire. George’s lease at his Ann Arbor restaurant happened to be up at the same time. One meeting led to another, and George purchased the Saline Inn with Frank and Nick’s blessing.

Of George, Frank says, “We came here for the long term. He’s here for the long term.”

George has no immediate plans to change anything about the Saline Inn. After all, why mess with success? Frank and Nick attribute the restaurant's success to family, friends, and good food. And the line between family and friends is not just blurred, it’s almost erased. Everybody is family.

“The Saline community is wonderful, excellent, excellent people,” emphasizes Frank. “The staff threw us a retirement party at the American Legion, and the number of people that came from the community was really overwhelming.”

“A lot of people showed up to wish us goodbye,” adds Nick.

“All we did was come to work every day,” continues Frank. “That’s all we did. This heartfelt reception made us feel very good.”

“We were surprised to see how the community felt about us,” concludes Nick. “But how they feel about us, we feel the same way about them.”

You can still find Frank and Nick in the restaurant most days, only on the other side of the counter with a cup of coffee, chatting with the friends they’ve made over the years. The Saline Inn has something for everyone—American, Mexican, Italian, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And that’s just the menu. The upbeat atmosphere has proven appealing to many peoples’ emotional palate.

The Saline Inn is located at 434 E. Michigan Ave. in Saline. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Photos by Doug Marrin

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