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Art & Soul: Culinary Arts - Historic Ypsilanti Restaurant Survived A War. Can It Survive A Pandemic?

Johanna McCoy

The Bomber Restaurant was first opened in Ypsilanti in 1936 as the "Baldwin Diner," and its name was changed to the Bomber in the 1940's as it served many transient workers who were living in town making B- 24 bombers at the Willow Run Plant.  Johanna McCoy bought the restaurant over 25 years ago and has struggled to keep the doors open recently due to the pandemic.  Currently closed, she talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her determination to win the war over COVID-19 and keep customers and the community connected through the Ypsilanti restaurant.

Credit Johanna McCoy
Johanna McCoy, owner of Bomber Restaurant in Ypsilanti.

The Bomber Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti has been open for 85 years, but it closed recently due to restaurant restrictions to curb the number of cases of COVID-19.  Restaurant owner Johanna McCoy says her employees and customers are like family, and it was really difficult to inform them they were temporarily shutting their doors due to the pandemic.  

Credit Johanna McCoy
Inside Bomber Restaurant.


She says she has lost ten employees already because they had to find more consistent jobs.  She is looking for community financial support and says she is determined to reopen once the governor removes or loosens dining restrictions put in place due to the pandemic.


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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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