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Posted on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi shares his thoughts on a reopened Fifth Avenue

By Ben Freed


Cars, bikes, and pedestrians return to S. Fifth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor, a relief to local business owners.

Steve Pepple |

During the nearly two years that South Fifth Avenue was closed between East Liberty and William Street, Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi spoke to everyone, including city council, to express how the construction was hurting his business.

Now that the street reopened Friday, Ramlawi is looking forward to things getting back to normal.

"It's good to see cars driving by once again," Ramlawi said. "But for a couple days I had to stop myself from jumping out to try and stop them."

Check out the video below for more about Ramlawi's take on the street reopening and its effect on his business.

Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Madeleine Borthwick

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Mr. Ramlawi, it is my sincere hope that your business will get back to normal(however you define it), now that this RIDICULOUS project is almost done. My husband and I love your restaurant, it's one of those unique places that seem to be vanishing only to be replaced by chain restaurants. keep on rockin"! the Borthwicks love JG!


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

I have been a fan of Jerusalem Garden for almost 20 years! Love the food and the overall atmosphere of the place. It is one of the "gems" of Ann Arbor.

Kevin McGuinness

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

I am sure the city being good managers had penalty clauses for construction not being done to schedule. Perhaps some of the penalties can be shared with the adjacent businesses that were hurt the most.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

Our best to Jerusalem Garden. We never stoped eating there during construction. We walked! Although, to be accurate, it wasn't two years, it was a little over a year. But that's history now. Onward & upward to small independent businesses in Ann Arbor!


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

No, they blocked off the street in August 2010 and finally opened it back up in June 2012. That is almost two full years. Ask anyone that lives or works in the area - it has felt like a very long two years.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

What a great place to eat, this resturant is a true gem of Ann Arbor...

John Hritz

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

I will repeat that there should be tax relief for local business owners in the middle of extended construction projects. The general trend is that chains survive these projects better because they can get a break on franchise fees. If you want to maintain the uniqueness of place, you can't let businesses with a single outlet suffer this kind of drop in cash flow and expect they will all recover.

Linda Peck

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Hope the business picks up for you, Mr Ramlawi!


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Here's hoping that for access to the Post Office the 10 minute parking on Liberty will continue, and will be enforced. I noticed this morning that exiting the temporary parking lot at the post office onto 5th is a challenge if not an outright hazard. For those in the right lane heading south on 5th, keep your eyes on that driveway as you come around the entrance to the partning structure.