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Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Village Pub to open in early December on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor

By Angela Smith


Lisa Rasak stands ready behind the counter of the Village Pub, which will open in December in Ann Arbor.

Angie Smith | For

Close proximity to Arborland Mall, local universities and Pittsfield Village convinced entrepreneur Lisa Rasak that she had found the perfect location for her soon-to-open Village Pub.

She now aims to open Village Pub in a strip mall on the east side of Ann Arbor at 3452 Washtenaw Ave. by Dec. 1.

Rasak attended college in Missouri and ran a successful bar, Waterfront Grill, in St. Louis. She moved back to Michigan, and her friend Tony Kashap helped her locate “the Village” as the perfect young neighborhood for a new pub. Rasak, who was born in Michigan, remembers hanging out in Ann Arbor and said she has nieces and nephews who now attend University of Michigan.

“It’s a great town," she said.

Kashap noted that nearby Paesano’s attracts a certain patronage, and that Banfield’s also has its own clientele. Village Pub does not expect to compete with those restaurants.


Village Pub, on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, is located near the north entrance of Ann Arbor's historic Pittsfield Village community.

Angela Smith for

Conor O’Neill’s has a nice atmosphere for downtown. This area does not have that,” Kashap said, referring to the popular Ann Arbor bar. "This neighborhood deserves something nicer.”

The Village Pub's space, located in what was most recently a short-lived Middle Eastern restaurant, Coney Island and an international cafe, has had a handful of food service businesses come and go in the past five years. The pub, Rasak said, has a completely different feel with its upscale, business-class vibe.

The pub offers 12 draft beers, wireless Internet, large screen TV’s and ambient seating for 50 to 60 people. Rasak said she has been meeting with vendors to select just the right offerings for both food and drink. She is hoping to offer local meat from Knight’s Market, as well as offerings from Cottage Inn and Zingerman’s.

The cocktail and beer selections will feature both Michigan and national brands.

Rasak said Village Pub had already hired 10 workers as of Tuesday but is still accepting applications.

Angela Smith is a freelance writer for



Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 11:36 a.m.

Hope they serve ruben`s could use a nice place to have a couple beers a good ruben.They will have the best meat they can get in town.There`s not a lot of places right around there you can just stop in get a beer and good burger.That burrieto shop down the street has beer now.I`m not to sure I want to go there I never see anyone there.Food was not very good hate to say it taco bell is better I think. Good luck look can`t wait to stop in and give it a try.New resrurants seem to do good at 1st but if they are no good within a couple months they are gone.A friend of mine opened a2 pizza and subs on Packard they are doing great.The food is good prices not to bad.Alot of choices.They even have healthy pizza if there is such a thing.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Welcome to you, Lisa. We will come by soon. Good call on using Knight's meat and Zingerman's. I also like Lionel's idea of putting on the closed captioning; it will make conversation easier than if the volume were on, but allow those of us who want to check the news to do so. We think of Paesano's as our neighborhood restaurant; it'll be great to have a neighborhood pub too.

Lionel Hutz

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

Super. I look forward to seeing you folks in December. One word of advice - put close captioning on for the TVs. It amazes me how few bars have ESPN or CNN on but without the volume. Close captioning makes it much better and is a nice attention to detail many miss.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

I'll certainly stop in and check it out. But for my taste "its upscale, business-class vibe " is a bit of a red flag. Do I have to wear a tie and black leather shoes?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6:54 p.m.

This is Ann Arbor, where no one has ever been kicked out of a restaurant/bar for improper dress. Last time I was at The Gandy Dancer, I saw a teenager wearing a baseball cap at the next table. I'm sure you'll be fine in a pub on Washtenaw, in your "good" NASCAR hat and flip-flops.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Food and service are the big key here, libations are libations wherever you go.

Lionel Hutz

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6:06 p.m.

I agree. It would be really nice in the Village Pub could do something with Satchells BBQ, which is just down the road. BBQ and beer are a winning combination.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

It's within walking distance...and I can be sober by the time I get home. Win-win!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Gutsy call with the present economy. Best of luck to you!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

Welcome to the neighborhood! I look forward to stopping by for food and drinks with a friend.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Actually, bars (except a select few on Main Street and Liberty that were under the ever-shifting whims of Andy Gulvazan) don't tend to be too volatile in Ann Arbor, since the owner has to have the experience and funding to go through the liquor license process. Almost by definition, you can't be completely clueless or you'll never open your doors at all. What fails at an amazing rate are small, non-alcohol food shops, either franchise or not. An article in the Observer reported a few years ago on the financial troubles of a guy who was trying to run ice cream stores here. He failed, sued (or maybe threatened to sue -- I forget which) the franchise chain, and they reminded him, "Hey, you were the one who bought TWO ice cream franchises in Michigan." If your business plan calls for year 'round revenue, you should probably ask yourself, "How many times do I pack the kids in the car and go out for sundaes in January?" Banfield's will be no competition -- if you're going there now, you'll keep on going -- all seven or eight of you, from what I hear. Paesano is in a different line of business. The only thing in this article that struck me as odd was the characterization of that area as a "young" neighborhood. While the Village certainly has a high proportion of youngsters, don't forget Forestbrook to the east, Ann Arbor hills and Packard Hills to the immediate west. The people who consider Fraser's and Paesano as neighborhood businesses are a bigger and more affluent market, and less trouble than the graduate students.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6 p.m.

"Banfield's will be no competition -- if you're going there now, you'll keep on going -- all seven or eight of you, from what I hear. ' I stop in to Banfields a few times a month and your " ..all seven or eight of you, from what I hear" crack has not at all been my experience. And my experience goes as far back as the old "Fireside" days.

say it plain

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

OMG, a very thorough analysis, and sad but insightful observation (missed that in the Observer!) about non-alcohol food shops, which tend to be my favorite kind :-| I agree, that was an odd characterization of that neighborhood, hmm. I do think that it's a tricky tricky spot for that sort of place. Maybe she hopes to catch all the folks who will be biking to that area for their fix of retail lol, now that the AA bike paths extend all the way from S. Forest through on to Arborland ;-)


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

Yea! a new business, and it's even better since they have adult beverages!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Congratulations and best wishes on your new Pub. Hope to visit soon. You definitely picked the best place to purchase your meat which was a factor in my visiting soon.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

the bar business is tough.they come and they go.GOOD LUCK!!!!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Any new business should be welcomed with open arms! Best of luck. I can't wait to stop by and check it out.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

Walking by here for the past few months I've been wondering when it was going to open! I'm very excited at the prospect of a bar within walking distance. I look forward to seeing what they have to offer.

Mike D.

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

It's a great location. Makkara sushi (now at Packard and Platt) did well there for years until the landlord kicked them out to open his own Coney, which he didn't know how to run. If Rasak can offer a Knight's burger, a decent draft beer selection (hint: offer lots of micro-brew bottles, too), and service that isn't openly hostile, she'll thrive here.

say it plain

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Lol @DDOT1962, the at-minimum "covertly hostile" service one can expect in Ann Arbor eating and drinking establishments (and let's face it, 1/3 of the retail as well!) is part of what left me deciding to stop eating out in this town! Heck, if she can manage to staff and run the place with actually *good* and *friendly* service *plus* stock a decent kitchen and bar?! She might take business away from downtown even :-)


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Yes, if the servers can just be covertly hostile vs. openly, she should do well. In all seriousness, I find it an odd location for a pub, but if she had a successful enterprise before, perhaps this place will make a go also.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

Congratulations!!! Welcome home..