The temporary wall is up at the old Pearle. I anticipated an expansion last week, and I was correct. But not the expansion I anticipated. The Apple Store will still be minuscule. Instead, it’s the neighbor on the other side, the M Den, that’s expanding.
If you’ve visited the flagship M Den on State Street, you have probably wandered into its upscale storefront, The Victors Collection. Maybe even on purpose. Victors eschews Jordan, Champion, and the other mass-market sportswear brands that the M Den moves, to stock business-casual and semi-formal apparel with the block M, along with Wall Street-y specialty items like a ballcap with both the Block-M and the New York Yankees logos. So basically the aesthetic I hope to maintain once I get the big check, and A2RS joins Maxim Magazine and Steak-N-Shake in the Biglari portfolio.
Speaking of spiritwear, the corner across from the Big House is still open and seems like an obvious choice for a U-M apparel shop to me…
|Site||A2RS Speculation||What It Became|
|The Thing at State and Ellsworth Behind Jimmy John's||Quizno's, Hair Salon, Vape Shop||Empty|
|Pearle Vision, Briarwood||Apple Store||Victors Collection|
|Hyatt Place Outlot Building||Drive Thru restaurant||Empty|
|Babies-R-Us Outlot||Not fast-food||Aspen Dental and an AT&T Wireless dealer|
But I wouldn’t bet on A2RS’ predictions. Anyway, this site was previously a Sprint authorized retailer. Before that it was an art studio that hosted parties, and before that it was Schneider’s Amoco:
(…who later dropped the gasoline sales and became Schneider’s Party Store, where I bought glass bottles of soda while waiting for my transfer school-bus home.)
Speaking of things that have sat empty for a long time, the Burger Fi restaurant on the ground floor of University Towers is still preserved in time and now there’s an investigative podcast about it. It’s called BurgerFIND, it’s produced by a group of U-M students who still mourn its closing, and it’s a lot like “Missing Richard Simmons,” only this time, THE HOSTS are the ones who wear pajamas in the daytime.
Speaking of mysteries, Aunt Agatha’s recently announced its closure at the end of the summer. They are offloading their inventory and moving online. They are closing up in the face of downloads. They are selling The Big Sleep from a storefront that never closes.
Unique stores like this help us feel better about our community and we are sorry to see them go. At least it isn’t sudden, they will be around through Art Fair, the union electricians’ training, and I think the union plumbers/pipe-fitters’ training too. I would love to see the pipe-fitters/mystery buffs Venn diagram.
Speaking of bookstores, there is a new used bookstore opening on Ellsworth. This isn’t exactly Ann Arbor, but enough friends of the blog have commented on this (and also I recently did a post about Utah, so clearly I don’t care that much) that I want to mention Think Outside The Books, which also offers games, collectibles, and many photos like this one below, which together document the store’s genesis from the shell of a Blockbuster.
Speaking of busted blocks, here’s Fourth Avenue between Washington and Liberty, where only the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is able to thrive.
Speaking of nightlife, there’s a DJ coming to Packard and Platt. DJ Bakery. That’s literally all I know right now.
This site was most recently a dealer of leaf guards for residential gutters. Before that, it was a laundromat and Craft Appliance, a beloved, locally-owned appliance store.
Speaking of local craft, Lucky’s Market has a bar with four or five local or regionally-brewed beers for $2 a pint every day ($1.50 on Thursdays).
They also sell slices of pizza, and other various hot entrees on different days. The deli section of Lucky’s is not exactly Bill’s-Beer-Garden level ambience, but you can’t beat the price, and you can actually hold a conversation in there, unlike many popular watering holes.
Speaking of watering holes, back to Fourth Street for a second. Here’s a look inside the window of the ground floor of Courthouse Square Senior Apartments, formerly the Ann Arbor Inn. Looks like fresh beer is coming. Hopefully this will raise the boats of extant Arbor Brewing, Haymaker, and Blue Tractor, all nearby.