You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

New owners plan to re-open Middle Kingdom Chinese restaurant 'as soon as possible'

By Ben Freed

Blimpy Burger is in jeopardy, but another popular restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor will be reopening its doors.

Ann Arbor Main Street Real Estate, LLC closed a deal Tuesday to purchase not only the building at 332 S. Main St. but the business it housed as well.

Local Chinese food enthusiasts will recognize the address as the recently closed Middle Kingdom restaurant. The new owners currently plan to reopen the business under the same name in the near future.


The Middle Kingdom will reopen with new management, but the same menu.

Lizzy Alfs |

“They want to get it open as soon as humanly possible,” attorney for the group Bill Schlecte said.

“There are some renovations that need to take place and we want to make sure everything is squared away with the health department, but the goal is to go as quickly as possible.”

Schlecte said by purchasing the business “lock, stock, and barrel,” the new owners have rights to the name, as well as the records, recipes, and menus used by the restaurant.

“There were conversations currently ongoing with the chef to remain there as well,” he said.

“When the Middle Kingdom re-opens the food will be as good as it ever was. It had an excellent reputation before it closed which was one of the reasons the owners opted to buy the business and not just the building.”

Mike Giraud of Swisher Commercial Real Estate was the agent for the building, which had a listed price of $1.3 million. As of Friday, the sale price was not yet available on the city's tax assessor site. Schlecte declined to disclose terms of purchase for the Middle Kingdom business.

Asuman Erturk manages Ann Arbor Main Street Real Estate, LLC as well as 330 S Main Investment, LLC which closed a deal on October 23 for the former Chocolate House building next door to the Middle Kingdom.

That building had been vacant since the Chocolate House closed in December, 2011.

Schlecte said the two corporations are related but are separate entities and do not necessarily have the same owners.

“Erturk has not decided yet what she wants to do with the building at 330 S. Main,” he said.

“It will probably be some form of restaurant or possibly a French pastry shop, a patisserie, it could also end up as some other retail establishment, that plan has not been set yet.”

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Mike D.

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

My speculation (based on no evidence but common sense): The only reason they haven't yet submitted their plans for a tower is that they are trying to buy Prickly Pear next door. PP is a dump and they could probably get it for a million or two. Once that's done, they'll have the most primo piece of property in town, ripe for a tower. Let's hope it's tall enough so the units can be affordable (more density = lower cost to build per unit).


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

Chocolate and Chinese? O MY!


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Great news- no new 15 story box on that site! I will have to patronize the new establishment just for saving that spot from the wrecking ball..

John B

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

Ahhh, finally a bright spot in the demise of Ann Arbor restaurant favorites. Good luck, I'll be there for dinner

Dr. Fate

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Note to new owners: dancers. 'Nuff said.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

I always enjoyed the food at Middle Kingdom - hope the new management & staff does as well. But after experiencing true rudeness from the old manager, I and others decided "no more" and we never returned. I've never been treated that badly at any restaurant anywhere so I hope everyone understands I didn't provoke that kind of reaction (some customers do at times). Looking forward to checking out the new establishment.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

I'm relieved to hear it wasn't just me. One evening a number of years ago, I went in for take-out, and he was so incredibly rude, I never went back. Happy to hear I can return.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 4:26 a.m.

oh yeah, old johnny, quite a rude bugger!


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

I hope they'll keep the authentic Chinese menu and not just the Americanized one.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

Note to new owners: Get new flatware, get rid of that prison issue stuff.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Excellent news. Now just put Blimpy Burger next door and we can die younger, but fat & happy.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

"When the Middle Kingdom re-opens the food will be as good as it ever was. It had an excellent reputation before it closed which was one of the reasons the owners opted to buy the business and not just the building." I'm not sure how this can be guaranteed with new owners. I wish them well, but there is a lot of restaurant competition. I used to eat at MK in the 90's and the quality, prices and quantity was superb. I don't know how it fared in the 2000's. Good luck to the new owners! Use good ingredients and keep prices fair, and you will have a chance.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Best news all week! Congratulations and good luck!

Tom Teague

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

An unexpected, but welcome, development. I wish the new owners luck in re-establishing Middle Kingdom.