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Posted on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Fat Philly's & Burgers restaurant opens in Ypsilanti Township

By Katrease Stafford


Fat Philly's opened July 13 in Ypsilanti Township.

Angela Cesere |

A new family-style restaurant in Ypsilanti Township is serving up Philly cheese steak sandwiches, burgers, subs and salads.

Owner Anthony Wilkins said his restaurant, Fat Philly’s & Burgers, has a concept that stands out in Ypsilanti.

Wilkins says the restaurant has an extensive menu that features a variety of sandwich, burger, sub and salad offerings. The Philly steak is served with grilled green peppers and onions topped with Swiss cheese on a warm hoagie bun.

“There’s nothing like it in the area,” he said.

The restaurant opened July 13 after Wilkins spent six months searching for a suitable location. Wilkins said he searched in Ann Arbor, Novi, Royal Oak and Canton before deciding on the building located at 2224 Washtenaw at the corner of Hewitt.

This place has the synergy we were looking for,” Wilkins said. “In addition to the EMU college campus and not being far from downtown Ann Arbor and U-M, as far as all of the places we were looking at, this location has turned out to be a good choice.”

The restaurant, which is nearly 3,000 square feet, seats 89 customers, and the interior has booths along the walls to give it a sit-down feel with Michigan-based sports team memorabilia decorating the walls.

Wilkins, a Canton resident, said the goal was to create a fun environment with a community-based atmosphere.

“It’s more of family style sports bar without the liquor,” he said. “We have monitors where we run sports on a regular basis and we’re reaching out to local schools and colleges to bring their stuff in for us to hang.”

Wilkins said the location is what has been driving business thus far.


Wilkins wanted to create a family environment.

Angela Cesere |

“It’s one of the key things that has brought our customers through the door,” he said. “The visibility is awesome and with rush hour, there’s a huge amount of traffic that comes through and we’ve been able to bring in a good amount of business.”

In terms of demographics, Wilkins said when he decided to open the restaurant, he didn’t have a specific clientele in mind and he’s seen a mixture.

“It’s been a consistent flow through the door, and people appreciate the concept of the store." He sid businessmen, families and construction workers come in for lunch.

“There’s really nothing like it, and we’re anticipating once school starts back up and students come back, that business will increase and we’re looking forward to that,” he said.

Wilkins currently has 10 employees, but he’s looking for an additional two cooks to add to the staff. If business takes off, that number could expand further. Wilkins said opening more locations may be in his future.

“Our intent is to branch out and do more things,” he said. “We intend to expand.”

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Katrease Stafford covers the city of Ypsilanti for Reach her at 734-623-2548 or You can also follow her on Twitter.


Boo Radley

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

It sounds like a place I will have to try, although the description above of the condition of the building doesn't sound too inviting. I always have to remind myself when visiting a sandwich shop such as this that good beef is expensive nowadays ... and with the drought damaged corn crops this year, it will go much higher. I am sure it is a difficult balancing act for an owner to decide the correct ratio of having enough meat on a sandwich to make people satisfied without making it too expensive to sell.

Julia Herbst

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

Ate here a couple weeks ago with my dad. It wasnt as good as we thought it would be. My dad got a philly cheestake sandwich, (That was over $8), and it was an open sub bun, with not enough meat to cover it. I got a grilled chicken sandwich, and fries. The chicken itself was wonderful, had great flavor. Yet the fries were undercooked and the insides were like eating raw frozen fries. Dad said the meat on his sandwich had nice flavor, but wasnt worth the price. The place would certainly benefit from a fresh paint job, you can still see the old paint color through it, not to mention the scratches also in it revealing past paint. The booths could use updating, and the carpet a nice professional cleaning. I was very glad that I didnt visit the restroom before ordering my food, it was DISGUSTING. Cob-webs all over the place, a peice of candy on the floor covered in ants, and stall doors that didnt close right, and needed painted. I think this place has promise, but if they spent about $200 for some paint, and spent a sunday touching things up (And getting rid of that HIDEOUS baby puke pink wall color), it would be alot better to the eyes, Not to mention the radio kept cutting in and out, killing our ears. Good Luck Fat Phillys!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

Fat! Fa!. Dumb name considering today's needs for lower fat foods. I will not visit the place. Fat Philly, eh?!

Honest Abe

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

This place will fail. Do not believe me? Ask the former owners of "Kenny's", "Tios", "Al noor". Maybe they can tell you why I say this.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

I believe some locations are cursed.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Abe Kenny was killed in a auto accident years ago.Shortly after Kenny's closed


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

I ate the pulled pork w/ cole slaw last sunday and got food poisoning. My wife had the cheese steak and seemed to enjoy it.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Wishing them the best of luck! I'll have to visit soon ... :)


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

Start serving local brews and you're golden.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Ugh, more hipster scab right wing beer.....just what that area needs...


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

We stopped by shortly after the restaurant opened and tried the cheese steak hoagie and the Reuben. Both were good enough to merit a second visit.

John Campbell

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

For cheesesteaks, Izzys on West Stadium is by far the best in the area, perhaps the best ANYWHERE. Unfortunately Gabriels (Ypsilanti, Saline) does not pass the test. Jersey Mike's on Carpenter does an excellent job among the second place finishers. I will give this place a try, I love to support local businesses trying to offer a good product.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

Izzy's is clearly the best. Jersey's Mike's on Carpenter road is good, but to feed a family of four was almost 30.00 bucks. Good subs, but a little pricey.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Izzy's rocks!


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Sitting in Izzys right now. It's good!


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

Gabriels used to really good.Not so much anymore.From what I understand they changed owners about 10 years ago

Jim Pryce

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Good Luck to them. I popped in earlier this week for Lunch. The fries were OK, but the Burger had very good flavor. The only thing was they didn't have multiple patties, just a Single. I asked about an extra patty & they said it wasn't on the menu. I even told them if they were to add it they could call it "Fat Jimmy". For now I guess I'll pass on the fries & order 2 burgers, because it was very good.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Another mediocre joint with sports memorabilia? Good Luck.

Lou Perry

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

I hope the owners have made a taste trip to Pat's and Geno cheese steak in Philadelphia. New York Bagel Baking Company in Royal Oak founder, a Wayne State professor, analyzed New York City water and duplicates it resulting in a REAL New York Bagel. New York Pizza Depot downtown A2 uses the same sauce recipe created at a pizza place in Brooklyn. Also they use real pizza ovens allowing for excellent crust. Fake can be gotten anywhere and then you're competing with the substantial number of places making cheese steaks in Ann Arbor.

Jimmy McNulty

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 10:47 a.m.

I did not know that about NY Bagel Baking Co, I will have to try them. As for NYPD, their pizza is the closest to east coast pizza you can get in MI. I do admit that I have developed a fondness for Jets Pizza since moving to MI.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Any connoisseur of cheesesteaks knows you top them with Cheese Whiz.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

Whiz on a cheesesteak: Hit or myth? Here:

Jimmy McNulty

Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

A2comments is correct, Wiz rules in south Philly.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

Cheese Whiz - yuck!


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Nope--Provolone and jalapenos (instead of bell peppers).


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Ive hit it up once already. Nobody comes close to their quality. It was fresh and hot. The veggies were not overcooked and the steak was lean. It makes places like Gabriels and Jersey Mikes look like fast food junk (although Mikes is good). All they need now are some taps.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Best wishes Fat Philly!


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

Fat fillies? Probably not a pick-up joint.

Jimmy McNulty

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

I wish them success, although that location has seen 2 recent vacancies. It is hard to leave if you need to make a left onto Washtenaw, as it is so close to the intersection. However, I am anxious to try them and the question of them being authentic "Philly" steaks will be determined. Jersey Mike's on Carpenter does it right with good bread and ingredients, as does Joey's Famous Philly in Garden City (who have Amoroso rolls flown in daily from Philly). So for me it will come down to their choice of bread. If the sandwich comes out on a gooey, flaccid Maier's hoagie roll, forget it. I will write that place off faster than Gabriel's. However, if they use a fresh quality-baked crusty roll I see them being a competetitor.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 10:06 a.m.

Hopefully the restaurant name has nothing to do with the food and calorie intake when eating there.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

Oh, Goober. You've never heard of gourging on calories in te AA area?