Elbow Room's owner seeking new manager for downtown Ypsilanti bar
News that the Elbow Room bar closed Sunday came as a surprise to many in Ypsilanti -including its owner.
Now Marion Campbell will be looking for a new operator for the longtime downtown bar at 6 S. Washington after former operator Andy Garris announced to patrons that he was leaving the Elbow Room to take a new job.
Garris ended his tenure at the Elbow Room on Sunday, according to reports on AnnArbor.com about the “closing” party.
However, that closing should be temporary , said Campbell’s attorney, Jim Jackson.
“It’s not the closing of (the Elbow Room) forever,” Jackson said. “It’s the closing under his operation.”
Garris did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him.
However, state records verify that Marion Campbell, as the widow of former Elbow Room owner Art Campbell, is the registered owner of the bar, its liquor license and the building at 6 S. Washington St. Art Campbell died in January.
In 2006, Andy Garris forged an agreement with Art Campbell to run the bar and eventually acquire the liquor license. He started managing the bar in early 2007.
The liquor license transfer was slowed as the city sought building modifications, Jackson said. Art Campbell died before the transfer took place, and Jackson said Garris has indicated that he wouldn’t be finalizing the purchase.
Jackson said he and Marion Campbell learned Monday that Garris no longer was running the bar after reading about what was described as its “last night” in an AnnArbor.com report.
“He didn’t give notice that he was having a going away party or leaving,” Jackson said.
Marion Campbell visited the bar on Monday, Jackson said, and got no answers from Garris as he moved items from the building.
As Jackson is sorting through various businesses and corporations that are part of Art Campbell’s estate, he’s seeking financial records from the Elbow Room.
“We’re trying to figure out where we stand financially at the end of his tenure as the operator of the establishment,” Jackson said.
Washtenaw County records show unpaid property taxes on the building of $4,853.79 due on June 30. City records indicate there have been unpaid personal property taxes on the bar dating from summer 2009, though city officials could not verify they remained unpaid.
Next up for the Elbow Room, Jackson said, is finding a new operator.
“We’ll have to clean the place up and Marion would like to find someone else who can run it,” Jackson said. “She would like to reopen under new management.”