Downtown Ann Arbor

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.


Susan Pollay
Susan Pollay

Susan Pollay has been executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority since 1996.  She decided to step down from that position at the end of this year and talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about how she has seen the city change and grow in her 24 years in the position.


Danijel Matanic

They call themselves "The Brush Monkeys," and, every year for the past 15 years, they have created art in downtown Ann Arbor business windows hoping to boost local shopping efforts.  Despite the pandemic and more shopping online due to health concerns, the Brush Monkeys still created their annual window displays this year.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to one of them, also the co-founder of TreeTown Murals, Mary Thiefels, about this year's effort.


Update 12:05 pm:  10 hours and counting. That's how long firefighters have been combating the downtown blaze at Happy's Pizza, starting shortly before 2 am this morning. The fire is still burning at this hour. As a result, Main Street from Packard to Hoover in Ann Arbor is closed due to the fire. The building is said to be a a total loss. So far, no injuries have been reported.

An eye witness view of the scene is available here:

A consulting firm is looking for feedback on options for possible zoning changes for three downtown Ann Arbor properties.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports,  focus group sessions will take place tonight at 5pm at Bill's Beer Garden and tomorrow at 8am at the Downtown Development Authority. 


  Officials with Ann Arbor's South University Area Association hope a successful program in the Main Street area can be replicated in their part of town. WEMU's Andrew Cluley provides the details.

The latest innovations in "green" products will take over Ann Arbor's Main Street tonight. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the 13th annual event runs from six to nine tonight.