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Posted on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Remembering Ann Arbor: Whiffletree and Maude's T-shirts available next year

By Lizzy Alfs

Related story: Top 5: Restaurants that I wish were still open in Ann Arbor

Ann Arborites can only reminisce about Whiffletree’s French onion soup and ribs from Maude’s, but now a Florida-based clothing company is keeping those memories alive.

Long Lost Vintage Wear, a Key West company that offers “nostalgic triggers” in the form of T-shirts is expanding its Ann Arbor offerings.


A Del Rio shirt from Long Lost Vintage Wear.

Long Lost Vintage Wear

Whiffletree and Maude’s shirts will be available in February, said Long Lost Vintage Wear owner Markham McGill.

“The Ann Arbor line has done almost as well as where we’re based in Key West,” McGill said. “People are very, very passionate about it…Ann Arbor has a unique flavor.”

Established in 2009, Long Lost Vintage Wear offers vintage t-shirts with a design of iconic businesses from several U.S. cities. Every shirt is hand printed in McGill’s Key West shop.

Weeks of research go into each shirt design, as McGill and his business partners try to memorialize bygone locales. One of his partners is longtime local resident Tim Redmond. “In every market, we have somebody like Tim,” McGill said. “We try to get connected to each of these towns. You cannot do this, what we do, on Google. You have to go to these towns and you have to get to know the people.”

The other Ann Arbor shirts offered include Bimbo’s, Mr. Flood’s Party, The Blind Pig, Drake’s Sandwich Shop, Pretzel Bell, Del Rio and Bicycle Jim’s. McGill said he plans to stop printing Bicycle Jim’s next year as Whiffletree and Maude’s are added to the lineup. The company also will offer a blue and yellow Drake’s shirt, and eventually a Del Rio hat.

“I like bringing old things back to life,” McGill said.

Response to the Ann Arbor shirts, McGill said, has been overwhelmingly positive. He said he gets weekly phone calls and emails from people connected to Ann Arbor via the University of Michigan or longtime locals.

“That’s what’s so exciting about it,” he said. “It’s the ‘that place, back then, with those people was the best time of my life’ kind of feeling. It strikes an emotional chord with people. It’s not just a T-shirt, it’s a memory.”

The biggest Ann Arbor sellers, he said, are Drake’s and Del Rio shirts, with Pretzel Bell following close behind.

Long Lost Vintage Wear T-shirts are available at Ann Arbor’s Bivouac and on the company’s website.

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



Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

I am shocked that there is no Danish News shirt being offered.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

I like the idea of the shirts, but they need to use a better quality shirt for the price.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

Markham McGill, owner of longlosttees, responded to my question about t-shirt quality with the following email: I am aware of some of the quality issues on the earlier tees we used. Ironically, they were pretty costly for us to use. Apparently that thinner, lighter cotton is too fashionable and therefore expensive. The good news is that we've begun using a new, better quality Tee and also been able to lower out prices as a result. They're much, much nicer now. Maybe as an Olive branch I can extend a special deal to folks who've already purchased from us. Ultimately I want people to love their shirts and the memories they bring back. It doesn't do us any good to have people bummed out or somehow let down. You can contact Markham at .


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

I agree, Chris. I bought one for myself and one as a birthday gift for a friend last year, and I was very disappointed in the quality--especially for the price! The cotton was extremely thin, and the printing of the logo was somewhat sloppy. Probably because of the poor material it was being printed on.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Now this seems suspicious, what came first the chicken or the egg? or in this case the reminiscing top 5 restaurants post by Ann or the knowledge of the T-shirt company? How about some transparency.... -Explain, does anyone that works for Ann have any connection to the T-shirt company? -Is Ann getting a percentage of sales or advertising revenue to post a blurb about the company? -When did Ann KNOW about said company? -Was the top 5 post and this this post preplanned in order to drive sales to the t-shirt company?


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Conspiracy theories abound.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

No, no one has a connection to the company. No, we are not getting advertising revenue for posting this story. We wrote a story last year about this company and readers were very interested. When we found out today that they were releasing two new tshirts, I thought people would like to know. No, the top 5 post and this post was not pre planned. Hope that helps with the transparency. Feel free to email me if you'd like to discuss it further.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

It seams that you have nailed it!! I question these top 5 blogs and their journalistic significance.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

I miss Kenny Rogers Restaurant -- hopefully they will come out with a tshirt for this lost but remembered icon.