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Posted on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

Halal Mexican restaurant to open on Plymouth Road in August

By Lizzy Alfs

Related story: Don Juan Mexican Bar & Grill to open on Ann Arbor's West Stadium

A restaurant serving halal Mexican food is preparing to open in the Plymouth Road Mall in Ann Arbor, Concentrate Media reports.

Hola, owned by Ali Hijazi, is opening in a 2,200-square-foot former office space between Songbird Cafe and Curry Up restaurants in the mall at 2709 Plymouth Road. Renovations are underway and Hijazi hopes to open Hola in August.


Hola restaurant is preparing to open in Ann Arbor's Plymouth Road mall.


Concentrate reports the restaurant’s menu will consist of halal Mexican food, or items that are prepared in accordance with Islamic guidelines. Hijazi is working with a Mexican business partner who will oversee the food operations.

Hola is the latest addition to the shopping center on Plymouth Road, which has seen a number of changes in recent years. Among them: Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop closed, Songbird Cafe and Curry Up opened, Domino’s Pizza vacated the center, and a 21,000-square-foot mixed-use building was constructed in front of the mall.

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



Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

This is a great idea! For those local Muslim who only eat Halal meat, it can get boring eating outside of ones home, since the only restaurants serving halal meat are usually Arabic food only. This gives Muslims some diversity in what they can eat outside of the home. Also animals raised on halal farms are usually treated more humanly, slaughtered more humanly, and fed better quality food..... so for the person mentioning in this post that " why would I eat halal meat?" well.... why WOULDN'T you, even if you are not Muslim.... the meat is better for you... do you have something against eating animals that have been treated well during their lives, and slaughtered as such as well?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Looking it up, a Halal animal can only be fed a natural diet that does not contain animal by-products. A lot of meat that is served contains animal by-products. MMMmmm - animal by-products! So from that perspective, the meat they use is likely higher quality than most. On the downside, no piggies.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

I'm not sure why you would restrict your potential market by just serving halal? If you would just have opened a Mexican Resturant everyone would be in there eating. Since the majority of us could realy care less about "Islamic" guidelines and would just like a good meal I guess I will keep driving to Dos Pesos in belleville.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

@bruceae Do you know what halal is? It's not a specific food item. It mostly has to do with the kind of meat used and how it's prepared. It will in no way alienate those who do not live according to "Islamic" guidelines. You obviously need to do some more research on this because you are missing out on some great food. Although I do agree with you on one thing...Dos Pesos is our favorite too.

Barbara Brown

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

More over - if you really don't care - then why bother replying? Too much 'free' time?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

The only thing that would prevent me from eating there is that it's on the opposite side of town from me. If I'm in the area for other reasons I'll happily try this restaurant. I don't observe Halal dietary guidelines but really, that makes no difference to me. It does make a difference to the observant Muslims in Ann Arbor so I'm glad for them.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 11 p.m.

@tano; Let me help you. Do you think all the items at, say Mexican Village will be available? How about a Margarita? Dos Equis? Pork Tamales? That would be the restriction, correct?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

Please explain your logic, bruceae - I am sure lots of us are scratching our heads at your post. If you could really (not) care less about Islamic dietary guidelines, why would you then avoid this restaurant? It seems like you care a lot - so much that you go way out your way. Why? You think you will turn into a muslim or something if you eat such food?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

I eat Kosher food at times but I don't have to eat kosher food.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

Seems he's actually INCREASING his potential market by including Halal food. Non-halal eaters shouldn't care as there is no difference, and halal eaters who wouldn't eat there otherwise, now will.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

There's a large islamic academy a bit further down plymouth road so I guess he's trying to include that clientelle. If you're going all the way from northeast ann arbor to belleville for a good mexican meal, you're passing a lot of good restaurants along the way. Namely Mi Casita on Washtenaw in Ypsi.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

You might not care about eating according to halal guidelines - I don't either - but why would you avoid the place because of it? If the food is good and the price is right, what difference would it make?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

Great! Dearborn has two halal Mexican restaurants, and they are both very tasty and are always busy with diverse clientele. I don't adhere to halal guidelines, so it makes no difference to me. And there is no difference in taste. Glad to see Plymouth Rd. getting more food options.

John Hritz

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

It's still a mystery why the only ice cream option on Plymouth Rd (Baskin and Robbins) closed their doors. The next closest place for a cone is Moonwinks in Dixboro. They close relatively early (6pm). Is there someplace else? How 'bout it Washtenaw Dairy. Fancy a north-east annex?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

McDonalds has ice cream, and so does Mark's Midtown, along with Big Boy


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Coldstone in Arborland


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

Forgot to add the Little Caesars opened in the old Dominos.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

That is horrible news! :)


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Ali owns Zamaan cafe, so he's got taste, and the food should be great!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Holy Mole'!!!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Lotta Mexican restaurants opening up today it seems Bring on the enchiladas!