Passport Restaurant closed permanently on South State Street in Ann Arbor
Ben Freed | AnnArbor.com
The Passport Restaurant and Lounge will not reopen at 3776 S. State St. due to what one of the operators said are problems stemming from the operating agreement with the landlord.
Jenny Wu, who owns Passport and two Lucky Kitchen restaurants in Ann Arbor with her husband Jin Huang, said in an email that she could re-open in a different building.
"At this time, we are sorting out our legal issues, and we are no longer interested in going back to doing business at that location," Wu wrote via email.
"The future of Passport is unsure, and we are still trying to find another location to open our dream restaurant," she continued.
Wu's landlords on South State Street are Androulla and Zakhour Youssef.
Operating under the entity A & Z Investments, the Youssefs purchased the property in 2005, after Chi-Chi's closed, for $1.355 million, according to township documents. The Youssefs did not respond to requests for comment.
Adding to the restaurant’s issues are 17 liquor license violations that Michigan Liquor License Control Commission records indicate have occurred since October 2011. The legal status of the Class C liquor license is in question because it is technically owned by ACY Restaurant, LLC, a limited liability corporation which is 91 percent owned by the Youssefs, with Wu and Huang only legally controlling 9 percent through LK Passport, Inc.
Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2