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Art & Soul: The Culinary Arts - York Food & Drink Collaborates With Community During The Pandemic

York Food & Drink
The York Team
York Food & Drink

Even though his great-grandmother died in the flu pandemic of 1918 and his great-grandfather warned him it could happen again, the owner of "York Food and Drink" on Packard in Ann Arbor, Tommy York, said he didn't believe that would ever happen.

And now, here he is in the pandemic that began in 2020, doing his best to stay in business and keep the community fed and connected.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with York in this week's "Art and Soul" about how he has done that and his gratitude for all the community collaboration and customer support.

Tommy York
Credit David Turnley
Tommy York, owner of York Food & Drink in Ann Arbor.

The owner of York Food and Drink on Packard in Ann Arbor, Tommy York, says staying in business during the past year of the pandemic has been extremely stressful and like nothing he has ever experienced before.  The pandemic started shortly after they put in a full bar at York Food and Drink, and he says they've basically been running at break even for a year. 

Credit David Turnley
Tommy York near his tents.

They bought tents and furniture and expanded their outside picnic space after they realized the pandemic would be going on much longer than people anticipated and they still wanted to accommodate customers outside.

Credit The York Team / York Food & Drink
York Food & Drink
Two of York Food and Drink's workers.

Tommy York says the community has been amazing in supporting his business, and they've collaborated with a number of food truck owners to offer a variety of food options to go with the drinks that can still be ordered inside.  Side Biscuit, Juicy Oistre, and Go Ice Cream are just some of the local food fenders they've brought to York Food and Drink.  

Side Biscuit
Credit Side Biscuit /
Upcoming Side Biscuit Events

York says his great-grandmother died from the flu pandemic of 1918 and his great-grandfather warned him it could happen again.  He also gave him advice to stay financially solvent in case something like that happened again--which it did.

Credit The York Team / York Food & Drink
York Food & Drink
York Food & Drink tents at dusk.

York says he's learned from this experience and plans to keep an open mind to keep everyone employed and has been heartened by the "win-win attitude" of fellow food business owners and the community.  

Credit Aaron Batzdorfer
A DJ's turntables near the York Food & Drink tents.



Good Eats and DJ Fresh Myint

Friday - 3/5/2021 - 5pm.

Brunch at YORK: Fig Detroit and YORK Cocktails

Saturday - 3/6/2021 - 12pm-2pm. 

Side Biscuit & DJ Batz

Saturday - 3/6/2021 - 5pm. 

¡Whoa! Tacos + DJ Batz

Taco Tuesday - 03/09/2021 - 5pm. 

Village Hand Pies & DJ Fresh Myint

Friday - 3/12/2021 - 5pm.

Jamaican Spice & DJ Fresh Myint

Friday - 3/13/2021 - 5pm.

St. Patrick's Day in the Yard with Chef G & DJ Fresh Myint

Wednesday - 3/17/2021 - 5pm.

Chef G & DJ Batz

Saturday - 3/20/2021 - 5pm. 

Simply Spanish & DJ Fresh Myint

Friday - 3/26/2021 - 5pm. 

Juicy Oistre & DJ Batz

Saturday - 3/27/2021 - 5pm.

Credit The York Team / York Food & Drink
York Food & Drink
York Food & Drink tents at night.


Follow us on Instagram (@yorkannarbor), Facebook (@yorkannarbor), or visit us online:  We've been very excited to be receiving some local and national press lately - check us out



**Special thanks to Paul Keller for providing the Art & Soul theme music.**

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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

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