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Posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop closes on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs


Workers packed up boxes and moved them on Dec. 27 from the former Baskin Robbins on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

Joseph Tobianski |

The Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop in Ann Arbor’s Plymouth Road Mall has closed.

A sign on the window directs customers to the Baskin-Robbins location at 1952 West Stadium Blvd., just north of Pauline Boulevard. Both Ann Arbor stores are franchises.

People were moving boxes out of the store on Dec. 27, and the shop has since been emptied out and the Baskin-Robbins sign was removed from the building. The store is at 2731 Plymouth Road next to Ita Yoga Studio.

Baskin-Robbins public relations manager Justin Drake issued the following statement, via email, on behalf of the company:

"The Baskin-Robbins restaurant located at 2731 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor has closed. We are committed to the region, and plan to develop additional locations in the coming months and years in the greater Detroit metro area. We apologize for any inconvenience this closing may have caused to our loyal guests."

Several calls to the former Plymouth Road store and the West Stadium store were not returned.

Plymouth Road Mall listing broker Bela Sipos of Reinhart Commercial said the lease for the ice cream shop, which is backed corporately by Baskin-Robbins, doesn’t expire for about two years. He said the 900-square-foot space would not be placed on the real estate market until he hears from the company about its plans moving forward.

Founded in 1945 and based in Massachusetts, Baskin-Robbins has nearly 7,000 locations in 50 countries, according to its website.

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


Frustrated in A2

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 5:01 a.m.

This is the store I went to as a kid, good times!

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Does anyone know where vanilla flavor commonly used in a lot of ice creams comes from? Google for Castoreum.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

In the 32 years I have lived here, I think I ate there once, many years ago.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : noon

The new building along Plymouth Road blocks visibility of the stores in Plymouth Mall from Plymouth Road and therefore will put Plymouth Mall and the stores located there into a permanent business decline. The project should never have been approved by the city because it violates a cardinal rule of Retail 101.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

The cities job is not to worry about the "cardinal rule of Retail 101". If we went by that philosophy there are many businesses that have been closed because of new roads that have been built, or roads that might be repaired. When something new opens, many times something old goes away. If BR had a loyal following, people would still go. I can use Zingermans as an example. It is not an area that has a huge amount of traffic that passes their front door, yet manages to stay in business.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 11:09 a.m.

Aw, I wish I had known so I could have made one last stop there! I used to go there in the 80's and 90's. Definitely a nostalgic place for me with some good memories. Will miss it! So much has changed about that mall now.

Christian Russell

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 3:50 a.m.

I moved from Ann Arbor in '82, but have fond memories of this BR. After school at Thurston, my friend and I would go to the mall and get ice cream or a pop. I returned last summer after many years away to find the Flim Flam gone, but had some ice cream at the old Baskin Robbins.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : midnight

Baskin-Robbins is near and dear to my heart. I worked at one in Detroit through high school and my first two summers of college. Had a great boss who paid very well. Now I live near Plymouth Rd. and will miss the jamocha almond fudge, pralines-n-cream and baseball nut.

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Baskin Robbins got me through all 3 of my pregnancies! Their pecan praline ice cream was awesome! At least the one on Stadium survives.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

The only other one I can think of that is near is Canton on Ford Road near Haggerty. Otherwise, one in Ann Arbor and one in Canton. Sad reality of mom and pop shops going by the way side.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Should have closed the one on Stadium, the last time I went there I ordered ice cream and had just sit down I was told I had to leave, they were closing. I started to get up to leave, then sat back down and told the girl I would leave when I finished. If it hadn't been the dead of winter I would have left when asked.


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

Nonsense. Many places have only take out 15 minutes or more before closing. And frankly customer service isn't in decline, it's customer manners, who walk in right before close of any establishment and expect to hang out past closing time and inconveniencing multiple families for their own self importance.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

Tell me another food service provider that tells customers who have ordered and paid for their food they have to leave when they offer a sit down dining area in the facility. The rule of customer service in a food service industry is that you lock the door at the closing time, then unlock it to let customers who are still inside out. You don't let new customers into the facility past closing time. Cinnabar is absolutely right on what he did. When you make a purchase at a facility with customer seating you are paying not only for the food, but also a place to sit and relax while you eat the food. With that said, if someone comes into a facility 2 minutes before closing time, and decides to sit and do nothing after they finished eating, then the staff should ask the person to leave, but while they are still eating, they have paid for the food and the right to sit down and enjoy the food they purchased. Comments like the ones from grimmk and M-Wolverine support the fact that customer service is on a serious decline in this country.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

They should have called the police on you for trespassing, then you could have stayed warm in a jail cell for the night. Not sure if the cops would have let you finish your ice cream first, though.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 5:45 a.m.

Wow, that's rude. How about I come over to your place of business and not leave until I'm done. You can wait 30 minutes after closing time, right?


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

We would walk to this location for ice cream. I must have a hundred BR Pink plastic spoons at home. We use them for everything. We have five "coffee shops" on Plymouth Rd, and now no ice cream. I was looking forward to Feb. and Love Potion 31. It's my favorite flavor.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

It's funny that in another story the other day about restaurant closings, comments were left about some of these exact other places that closed and stories miraculously appeared. So, way to go Reader! You did the investigative reporting for!

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Actually, the picture was taken by an photographer on Dec. 27. (See the caption in the story). That's when I started writing the article. Then I got sick and swamped with other things! But, I do really appreciate when readers pass along tips via comments. I've had plenty of great story leads that way.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9 p.m.

I never liked B-R, which had small portions and high prices. I always thought Stucci's was much better, though expensive. The best, of course, is Washtenaw Dairy. Hope something good goes in that location, and not another pizza place or coffee shop. Enough of those!


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 5:43 a.m.

So, you're saying it was the same? B&R has high prices and Stucci's was expensive. You got the same amount either way. And don't forget about having to pay for parking to get Stucci's.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

I'm sure the new building didn't impact them. That mall has likely had decreased traffic since Flim Flam left, the library left, the barber shop closed, the liquor store changed to an ethnic grocery... Might be a great hardware store there, but being located on the back of the mall has me never remembering it is there. Now, across the street, we've got an unsightly solar panel field too... The new outer building doesn't even match the brick...


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Eh, I prefer to focus on the positives. There plenty of fine businesses in that strip mall that I patronize - the wine shop, the hardware store, the framing shop, the drug store, and a couple good restaurants. I will miss B&R but life goes on. The best thing is that with a few exceptions, they are all locally owned and one of the exceptions (Frames Unlimited) is a Michigan-based company with relatively few locations.

Susan Montgomery

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

There is a new ethnic grocery, but the liquor store in the back is still a liquor store

Heidi Koester

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

I wonder if another factor might be the relocation of the branch library that used to be in Plymouth Mall. It was a nice outing for parents and kids to visit the library, then stop by B&R for an ice cream. Just one factor among many, but over time they erode the bottom line.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

Readers are raising a good point about the Plymouth Road Plaza building. I was surprised when I went out there yesterday to see the building is almost finished. It's true, it does block the view and signs of many of the retailers in Plymouth Road Mall. I'll have to check in with the retailers in the mall to see how they feel about the new development and whether it's affecting business.

Richard Carter

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

I wonder if AATA ever finished bus service on the northern part of Huron Parkway (it stops at Glazier Way and cuts over through campus and doesn't come out on Plymouth anywhere near) if that would help those businesses up thataway get more local traffic. It's easy to get to Arborland on bus, it's tough for people who live in the area, but a ways beyond walking distance, to get there without taking a bus all the way downtown and all the way back out.

Richard Carter

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

Haran, EXACTLY what I'm talking about.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 5:41 a.m.

They finally extended service way out to the apartments on Traver Blvd/Huron Parkway. I'd have killed for that in high school since I had to walk all the way from Plymouth Road Mall. But it was good for me. Just sucked in winter.

Soft Paw

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

Most upscale stores don't want bus service near their business. They think an influx of low income people would drive away the upper middle class customers they seek.

Haran Rashes

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

AATA's 2 Routes (2A B and C) all go right by Plymouth Road Mall coming from Downtown. Route 1 goes to North Campus and then loops by Plymouth Road Mall on its way to DhuVarren and Pontiac Trail. The Route you are talking about is Route 22. It goes from the Green Road Park and Ride down Huron Parkway, past Arborland, to Meijer on Carpenter Road. Route 22 does not go by Plymouth Road. One change I wish AATA would however make to Route 22 is to extend it by about 1 /2 mile to the Plymouth Road/US 23 Park and Ride, which would connect it to Routes 2 A and B providing a link between the neighborhoods and business on Plymouth Road and Arborland.

Haran Rashes

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

I would like to know if the new Plymouth Road Plaza being built in the parking lot of Plymouth Road Mall had anything to do with Baskin-Robbins closing? The stores in Plymouth Road Mall that fronted Plymouth Road no longer have visibility from the busy roadway. I am sure a lack of visibility is or will lead to a reduction in business. As previously reported in, Domino's is moving its location from Plymouth Road Mall to Traver Village Shopping Center (down the road). As a resident of the Northeast side, I hope we get another ice cream parlor soon. Now, the closest place to get ice cream is Cold Stone in Arborland.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

treetown? You are kidding right? There are better places to get ice cream then there.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

@Jon Wax, Just curious, what happened to Bolgos?!


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

@ Lezee, there are times when soft serve is good, and times when hand packed is good. With respect to your viewpoint, I think you can get some handpacked up at Mark's Midtown Coney Island.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Treetowncartel you have no idea what real ice cream is. Soft serve does not count.

Mary Bilyeu

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

I also worry about the visibility issue, and the family-owned businesses in the strip mall. Things have been tough there, and the new building blocking the view is only making the situation worse ....

Jon Wax

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

i'm no real estate guy but i think dominos is moving because once the "brand" new lil caesers, ceasers... the other pizza joint goes in, dominos can't compete with 5 dollar pizzas. not in an area that concentrated. the other pizza place should do pretty well there. bring back bolgos circle. Peace W


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

You can get ice cream at McDonalds and Wendy's

Just Some Guy

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Nooooooo... That was the closest ice cream shop.

Barbara Brown

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

So sad that they closed - hope it didn't have anything to do with the 2 story strip mall planted so ungracefully in front of Plymouth Mall.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Why did they build that huge monstrosity? It is ugly and hides the beauty of the Plymouth road buildings. Sad.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

The new building along Plymouth Road blocks visibility of the stores in Plymouth Mall from Plymouth Road and therefore will put Plymouth Mall and the stores located there into a permanent business decline. The project should never have been approved by the city because it violates a cardinal rule of Retail 101.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

The place had been there since at least the 70s. It's sugared up many generations of kids ....