ann arbor restaurants

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week / Twitter

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week typically takes place in January.  But because of the continuing pandemic, some changes were made, and it will now take place in late February.  Lisa Barry talks with Sandra Andrade, the executive director of Main Street Area Ann Arbor, about this year's event and supporting the Ann Arbor culinary scene while still enjoying some unique dining experiences.


Knight's
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan restaurants will be allowed to open their doors to indoor diners February 1st.  Indoor dining has been prohibited by state officials since November to curb the cases of COVID-19 in the community.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Don Knight, the owner of Knight’s Steakhouse with two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Jackson, about his excitement to reopen even with state-imposed restrictions and some changes they’ve made to keep diners healthy.


Isalita / Facebook

Adam Baru, the owner of Isalita and Mani Osteria in downtown Ann Arbor, already had to close a third restaurant he owned, Mikette, due to the pandemic.  He talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the challenges he has faced as an Ann Arbor restaurant owner during this global health crisis and his response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's announcement that restaurants may be allowed to open with some restrictions on February 1st.


Allie Lyttle/Ji Hye Kim

Two Ann Arbor restaurant chefs say they plan to "pivot and roll with the punches" in light of the latest order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to pause indoor restaurant dining for the next three weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Lisa Barry talks with Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim's Korean Restaurant and Allie Lyttle of the recently opened Lala's Restaurant--both in Ann Arbor--about the impact of the pandemic and the recent decision and what the local community can do to support all restaurants in the area at this time.


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen across the country, and more are being seen in Washtenaw County.  Locally, most of the news cases can be traced to the University of Michigan.  There are also newly confirmed COVID-19 cases stemming from two restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor.  WEMU's David Fair and Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia provide the latest. 


Side Biscuit
Eric Okon

Ann Arbor area chef Jordan Balduf has been called the "Wing King of Ann Arbor."  Originally from Buffalo, New York, he says he's been eating chicken wings since he first got teeth!  After operating a successful chicken wing and biscuit pop-up shop for the past 12 weeks, he's now putting together his own takeout restaurant and tells WEMU's Lisa Barry about that in this week's "Art and Soul."


Zingerman's
Zingerman's

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the culinary arts, but due to the current coronavirus pandemic, most restaurants have had to figure out a new way to operate, and some have had to close.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and Jessica Webster talk about what your local dining options are and how you can support local grocery stores and restaurants in new ways, due to rising health concerns.

Phillis Engelbert

In the first installment of a new feature series, entitled "WEMU Reaches Out: COVID-19 Conversations," Barbara Lucas catches up with Ann Arbor restauranteur Phillis Engelbert.  She owns Detroit Street Filling Station and the Lunch Room and is doing all she can to keep the businesses open, pay and insure staff and help customers in need. 


Baru, Saginaw

Many local restaurants have had to close or lay off employees due to the current ban on in-house dining.

WEMU’s Lisa Barry spoke with local restaurateurs Adam Baru, the owner of Mani Oseria, Isalita, and Mikkette Bistro & Bar, and Paul Saginaw, co-owner of Zingerman's, about the impact the coronavirus crisis has had here in Ann Arbor, and what’s being done about it.