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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

Ann Arbor-owned Ahmo's Deli replacing national chains in University of Michigan Union

By Ben Freed

Ahmo’s Gyros and Deli is moving into the University of Michigan Union and will be fully operational by mid-August, according to a report in the Michigan Daily.

The locally owned chain will take over space vacated by Auntie Anne’s pretzels, Mrs. Fields cookies and Freshens smoothies when their leases expire at the end of April.


The union is losing a number of tenants at the end of the month but will renovate and add a local Mediterranean deli. file photo

Ahmo’s will join Wendy’s, Subway and Panda Express in the ground floor Michigan Union Grill area. The Mediterranean restaurant has three Ann Arbor locations and operates as a guest vendor one day each week at Pierpont Commons on North Campus.

The university has not made a decision on whether to allow Amer’s, a popular student spot that offers food and frozen yogurt, to renew its lease, the Daily reported.


Bob Needham

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

This is good news. Ahmo's is a quality operation. Congratulations to the Issa family.

Bryan Ellinger

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

Good for Ahmo's. May they find success with the central campus crowd. The Stone School Road location (at least) is a good place for lunch. My only wish is that they would be consistently good. They swing between fresh, generous portions, and stale and stingy.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

Chicken gyros......mmmmmmmmmmmmm!


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Best gyros in A2.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

I wasn't satisfied with how clean Ahmo's Stone School was on my last visit, years ago. Neither was the health inspector around that time. I'm hoping they've improved, but they received some sad county inspections just last year. To me that translates to not caring about my health - not a good indicator for a restaurant.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:57 a.m.

@ Goofus, Contradictions much? "serves to a captive audience" "stopped eating there years ago because of the bad service and quality." So which is it. Is the audience captive or not? the fact is there are plenty of options for food, including eating at home, tim Hortons, McDonalds, Taco Bell and many others on state street.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

The Stone School store is in a food desert and serves to a captive audience of all the office spaces in the area. The service and food quality is reflected accordingly. Disclaimer: I work near there and stopped eating there years ago because of the bad service and quality.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

I think all the Ahmos are as clean as any other restaurants in town.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Did something happen to the pizza hut that was in there? They were open just a couple months ago.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Oh, and Subway will be serving Freshens Smoothies. The Daily article has a little more detail.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

@umfanchris, The MUG cafeteria area is being remodeled into only four vendor spaces (as opposed to the current 5ish). It sounds like Subway is expanding into part of the Pizza Hut space. The four vendors next year will be Ahmo's, Panda Express, Wendy's, and Subway as opposed to the current Mrs. Field's/Freshens/Auntie Anne's, Panda Express, Wendy's, Subway, and Pizza Hut.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

Nevermind. I clicked on the Michigan Daily link and saw that Pizza Hut was closing also. Anything taking that spot that we know of?

Jenn McKee

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Sounds like a nice way to bridge the divide between the insular "student world" at U-M and the greater town of Ann Arbor. I'll be interested to see how an Ahmo's does in the Union.

Jay Thomas

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Some guy, it was owned by the same family. The patriarch was a devout muslim who eventually decided to stop offering liquor.

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

And I'm sure Ahmo's predecessor, Big Market, lost a fair amount of student business when they gave up liquor sales.

Linda Peck

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

This is the direction we need to take, local businesses come first. Let's asked the City Council to support this initiative, too, when awarding contracts for all services and contracting.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Local. Nuf said.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

I saw an employee drop a spoon on the floor. He picked it up and wiped it with his towel and put in back into the clean silverware basket. Never went back.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:54 a.m.

Oh for god sake, you really should never eat out then. There are more germs on a MENU than on the toilets of most restaurants.

Bryan Ellinger

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

That's the five second rule in action -- with a bonus towel wipe. it happens in most restaurants, even though it's unreliable. Your best bet is eating at home, or viewing it as an opportunity for your immune system.

Hugh Giariola

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Hmmph. The sky is falling.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

ACCCCCk! arieswoman, thanks for the heads-up, this place just lost a customer:p


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

I wonder if Blimpy Burgers were given a shot since they are getting ED'd by the University

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Just a note on Blimpy Burger: There are some issues with venting systems, and I'm sure it wouldn't be able to open in a building like this. It would be funny - students studying and tempted by the smell of Blimpy's burgers!


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

That wouldn't be the spot for a restaurant that serves both students and non-students.

Chester Drawers

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Eminent domain has nothing to do with Blimpy Burgers losing its building. The owner sold it to the university of her own free will.

James Pyke

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Nice. I hope they can keep their prices low in that location. Nothing better than some healthier, fresher fast food alternatives.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Good for them. I hope the service is *friendly*.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Like Ahmos.

Jay Thomas

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Does the U pay taxes for collecting rent here?

Stupid Hick

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:49 a.m.

OK, so you mean you would be happier if U-M ran its own food service operation in the basement of the Union?

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

You are misunderstanding what I'm saying. Of course the restaurants are competing among themselves. I'm talking about the LANDLORDS competing. In this case the U versus taxpaying property owners.

Adam Schubatis

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Generally speaking, 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations do not have to pay income tax on income earned from the rental of real property.

Stupid Hick

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:16 a.m.

Jay, why is it unfair that Wendy's, Subway, and Ahmos should compete against each other in the Michigan Union?

Jay Thomas

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

I understand it's the Student Union, my concern is that U of M will put more restaurants and coffee shops in its buildings, in effect competing with the rest of the town.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:51 p.m.

I'm pretty sure that's yes. Likewise, I'm pretty sure taxes are paid on rent collected from for-profits at the old Pfizer facility. But somebody here probably knows for sure.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Good question. Of course they do not.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Good riddance. Mrs Fields and Aunti Anne's have terrible, terrible food. Never had a Freshen's smoothie. Most smoothie places don't wash the fruit before blending, so I avoid them. Ahmo's and Panda Express are both good.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

Ahmo's is Issa connected, right?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

Yes, a great local Ann Arbor, hard working family!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : midnight

Yes - which is great!

Tex Treeder

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Is there more to this question?

Ben Freed

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Yes, the owner is Majed Issa.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Good for Ahmo's. Best gyros in town. They should be a hit at the Union.

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

You got that right. I'm a little torn, though, because I like their gyros best when the meat cone has been turning for a while, so the outside gets all crusty... but I also want them to do a good amount of business, which wouldn't give the crust time to form properly. Oh well. For a feisty gyro on campus, I think I could look past that!