This Papa John's Ain't That Papa John's

I have driven by this place a bazillion times. When I first moved to Lansing I did indeed notice that this was a Papa John's and it was a pizza place. But something was different. It was the same but not the same if that makes sense?

Get our free mobile app

Like, look at the logo on the side of the building.

McConnell Adams TSM Lansing

And of course on the box.

McConnell Adams TSM Lansing

It's Papa John's and it's pizza but it ain't this.

Denise Truscello, Getty Images

Because that's a national pizza chain.

And this...

McConnell Adams TSM Lansing

...is a Lansing local original.

No Lawyers Were Harmed In The Making Of This Confusion

So at first I thought this was like McDowell's in "Coming To America".

But no such luck. As a matter of fact both parties involved here are Papa John's and they both serve pizza. And the local favorite does identify themselves as Papa John's and Papa John's Lansing (for their website and on their pizza boxes).

McConnell Adams TSM Lansing

So how does a local pizzeria take on a monster and get to keep the name and play with it the way that they do?

I asked questions at the restaurant and was told that there were threats and the throwing around of corporate weight and so on.

However the corporate folks had to get familiar with "grandfathered" and "we had it first".

Papa John's the corporate chain came into being back in 1984.

The Papa John's restaurant was founded in 1984 when "Papa" John Schnatter knocked out a broom closet in the back of his father's tavern, Mick's Lounge, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. (Wikipedia)

But just like in poker, read em and weep. The pizza boxes that is.

McConnell Adams TSM Lansing

"Serving Lansing Area Since 1982"

Our local version of Papa John's Pizza (Lansing) beat the corporate giant to the name by 2 years. And from what I'm told, there were four locations originally. Then down to 2. And now just one on Michigan Ave.

And the food is phenomenal. I ordered a meatball sub, paid less than I would at a chain restaurant (about 8 buck for a decent sized sub), and the food was MUCH BETTER.

Because it's made locally with love in Lansing.

I might be late to the party knowing about these guys, but if you've never tried Papa John's Lansing I highly recommend them.

Another storied local gem with some really great food.

And the reply to this guy's tweet is CLASSIC. As in Lansing Classic.

MORE TO EXPLORE: Michigan Restaurants Featured On The Food Network

NEXT: The 10 Best Places to Get Bagels in the Lansing Area

KEEP READING: Here are the best places to retire in America