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Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

Ann Arbor's Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell among new breed of restaurant owners

By Lizzy Alfs

They’re the faces behind a half dozen restaurant and bar establishments in just a few-block radius of downtown Ann Arbor.

But the reach of restaurateurs Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell doesn’t end there.


Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell recently expanded Blue Tractor, relocated Cafe Habana and opened Lena.

Angela Cesere |

A feature article in Metromode Media says the duo, who together own 2Mission, are helping to change the face of Metro Detroit’s dining landscape.

“They like to keep their concepts fresh and interesting and will tweak them every few years to ensure that. And if something doesn’t work, they change it, and will keep changing it until it does work,” the article says.

Carlson and Lobdell, along with other investors, are involved with Blue Tractor, Cafe Habana, Lena, Jolly Pumpkin, Grizzly Peak and Mash. They also own a handful of restaurants in Royal Oak and Traverse City.

Their approach to business, the article says, is to stay behind the scenes and let an operating partner run the day-to-day operations at each of the restaurants. That way, someone is always hands-on.

Carlson and Lobdell also never slow down — they’re currently expanding the Jolly Pumpkin brewing facility in Dexter and are hoping to open a Jolly Pumpkin in Royal Oak.

Read more about their approach to business and other plans in the works on Metromode Media.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Resuscitate the Old German?!? nom! Although it'll be difficult to capture the feel of it. Looking forward to see how they pull this off!

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

I'll let you know more next week. We're chatting about their plans on Monday.