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Posted on Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Top 5: Stores that I wish were still open in Ann Arbor

By Paula Gardner

Shopping dominates the U.S. consciousness during Thanksgiving Week, and at, we need to stay on top of it.

So far, I've edited or written multiple stories about Black Friday (and yes, that means Thanksgiving Day, too); Cyber Monday; and the reason for the holiday — thankfulness.

But as I consider the wave of retail pressure over the past week, I'm also a bit consoled by Small Business Saturday - a version of "shop local" that's building momentum between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It's a simple movement: Spend your money at an independently owned small business, and you'll be promoting economic development in your own community.

Here's some explanation from the organizer's website:

By shopping or dining at a small business this November 24th, you’re showing your support for all the small communities around you. This means you could be helping local entrepreneurs offer more jobs, which in turn invigorate the economy. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day.

The essence of the day isn't new to Ann Arbor or other cities in Washtenaw County. They've all spent years cultivating that "sense of place" to keep their retail districts a unique destination.


Klines Department Store, circa 1930s

Ann Arbor District Library

At the same time, there are a lot of small business owners among us who are working very hard to retain and grow their bricks-and-mortar businesses. The challenges are legendary: Internet sales. Extreme price-cutting by national retailers. Facilities costs.

And attracting customers.

Some local businesses have a natural lifespan. Some struggle to compete. But so many more offer unique products, excellent service and competitive pricing. And they employ our neighbors while filling our storefronts.

It's while thinking about what Shop Local Saturday means for the Ann Arbor area that I'm reminded of many stores that I wish I could shop today. And they're the stores that I'm considering as I spend during this holiday.

1. Jacobson's. I couldn't afford to buy much at the downtown store on East Liberty, because at the time I could walk to it, I was a University of Michigan student (and not a wealthy one). Later, I rediscovered it while it was at Briarwood, and always bought shoes and baby gifts there because they'd always seem special. Klines Department Store is a close runner-up. Its merchandise offered a reasonable alternative, and it also was very accessible on South Main.


Tree Town Toys, circa 2009 files

2. Tree Town Toys. My kids are aging out of toys, but I'm not - and never will be - too old to love a toy store. Tree Town Toys grew out of another Traver Village store, White Rabbit Toys, and it grew under so many fun brands. I wish my kids would play with Playmobil forever. The Santa's Workshop set that I bought there years ago comes out every holiday, and every year it reminds me of the delightful shopping experience in the store.

3. Borders and Shaman Drum. They're so different, yet so tied to retail loss in the State and Liberty area. Both stores were destinations of discovery, victims of changing media. Yet both had such a foothold on what Ann Arbor could value and appreciate in a book.

4. Schoolkids' Records - Much like the heyday of Borders, Schoolkids' on East Liberty could ignite a passion for music you never knew existed before you stepped into the store. It was a place of extreme market knowledge, ordering what staff knew Ann Arbor would listen to.

5. Acme Mercantile - Both quirky and functional, this is a store that was just plain nice to have around. In 2004, it seemed to embody the type of store that could grow with an increased downtown residential base. It couldn't last through the recession, and it's missed.

For more information on the impact of shopping locally, see Business Alliance for Local Living Economies or Think Local First.



Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Make Waves!!!

Jessica Webster

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

I miss Schoolkids' like crazy. Even all these years later, I can't bring myself to enter the shops that now occupy the space where I spent so much of my late teens and early twenties.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

@ Linda Peck and Jeff Gaynor, thank you for your positive feedback. unfortunately, I seem to have gained a somewhat unpopular reputation with some of the haters here after I came out in support of a friend a while back. I stood, and CONTINUE to stand, behind this friend. as you can probably tell, being "popular" is not high on my list of priorities. standing by my friends, no matter how imperfect they are, IS.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

Magic Carpet Books and Wonders! It was the best kids' book store ever!!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

State Street Discount.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Sweet Lorraine's in Kerrytown!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:10 a.m.

I know it's already been said, but I miss Drake's!

Balthazar Tarantula

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:25 a.m.

From my boyhood - The Eye of Agamotto comic store on State Street. Oh, so many great Amazing Spider-Mans I bought there, all, very unfortunately, long ago sold.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

You should probably add a link to Acme Mercantile. It is now a web-only entity, but she's still local:

Mark Wilson

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

My list overlaps with Betsey ready's .. I miss Indian Summer restaurant, Wildflower Bakery, Sun Bakery, and the Soy Plant. I have special memories of the Soy Plant. I loaned them money early on and, for interest, I got a half gallon of soy milk or a pound of tofu every week or month (I forget which). Eventually, I couldn't keep up with that much soy milk and tofu and I stopped picking it up. Ten years later before they closed they sent me a letter telling me how many half gallons or pounds I had coming (it was almost 100) and asked when I would pick them up! And they included a check to repay the loan! I picked up one sentimental pound of tofu and said to cancel the rest of the interest. I love the People's Food Coop and have shopped there regularly since they opened in the basement on State Street, but I loaned them money several times and they never heard boo about interest nor offered to pay it back. I'm OK with that, but it makes the Soy Plant stand out even more.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

Here's a blast from the past--- Bimbo's -- Pretzel Bell- Lamplighter --- peanut shells on the floor--all u can eat crab, and the best pizza in A2.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

I have one not mentioned...Goodhew's Fine Flowers, my Moms (Grandfathers, Great Grandfathers) store was on Liberty in what is now Afternoon Delight and was in the community since 1886, including the massive greenhouses on Observatory across from Forest Hill Cemetery.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

I have a few photo's, tons of details. For me I'll never forget the smell of the big old flower refrigerators!

Linda Peck

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

I would love to see a special article on that flower shop and the greenhouses. Do you have pictures and details? Perhaps someone on staff could write about that shop. How lovely it sounds!


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

The Flaming Pit restaurant in the early 70's....on Washtenaw near Carpenter. Mickey Rats, Focus and Double Focus, Simulation Station. Pin Room Bar on Industrial. Win Schuler's restaurant for Bar Scheese (or something like that). La Pinata, Pan Tree, Bimbos. Feigles, Klines, Goodyear's, Jacobson's.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

I miss the old Ann Arbor News.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

I delivered the AA News for a short time. Then got canned. Turned out they wanted me to deliver it EVERY DAY! None-the-less, it bought me tickets for Three Dog Night at Crisler. Which I then was unable to attend due to being grounded. So there's that.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

I miss The Ann Arbor News, too. So do some of my kids, who delivered papers for years in our neighborhood.

Jeff Gaynor

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

And whoever would have thought we'd say that, longingly?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Who doesn't?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.

For anyone still reading this thread: There used to be a restaurant up on Plymouth Road (when it used to be just two decrepit lanes) just north of North Campus (Bursley Hall) that served pretty, basic regular fair. A friend and I can't remember the name of it for the life of me... Anyone?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

Bolgos, maybe?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 5:19 a.m.

Oh geeze, how could I forget The Red Bull and Bill Knapps?!


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 5:16 a.m.

Underworld Comics and that arcade game place! Wow, I'm totally blanking on it! I spent so many hours there as a teen. I miss WizzyWigs too, that place where it is now isn't very nice and I used to get Japanese manga before they started to translate them. Gypsy Cafe was my favorite place to eat. My god that was almost 15 years ago...

Jeff Gaynor

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

We had our wedding at the Kerrytown Concert House (fortunately still here, and our reception at the Gypsy Cafe - 14.5 years ago, so your timing is on target. Both were perfect for us.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

Border's on Liberty St.; that area just isn't as family-friendly and inviting as it used to be. Also, Kresge on N. University, Ned Duke and Flood's, Shaman Drum.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

The orig Blind Pig.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

Schlenker Hardware!


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

No matter how weird an item you were looking for, Schlenger's had it.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

They used to sell dynamite. Where do you get that now?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Central Cafe!!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

I wandered around downtown today and was really surprised by how limited the retail atmosphere felt. I'm really grateful for the shops of Kerrytown (especially Hollander's, Everyday Wines and Fustini's) and for Downtown Home & Garden, but I miss Borders, Shaman Drum, Acme and Suwanee Springs.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

Hudsons, Big Ten Party Store, Farmer Jacks, Mountain Jacks


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

Does anyone remember Liberty Music? It was located where Encore Records now is. It was THE place for classical music in the pre-digital days. And I have fond memories of Maude's - my husband and I had our first date there.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Maude's chicken with artichokes . . . mmmmm.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

Yes! Maude's! I wish it would come back. I loved their food so much.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

The Budget Shop on Liberty (my first job in the 50's was cleaning the store after it would close), Carmens Shoes, and Wilds (where the men in our family would by clothes, as well as at Fiegels). A resturant on Main St. that I believe was called Curtis Chicken. Finally as I became old enough to enjoy nightlife, Schwaben Inn (Thursdays) and Clint's Club (no signs indicating drinking age, only a sheet of plywood, hung up, that I believe said, "anyone caught carrying a concealed weapon is guilty of a felony"; 2 of the better venues for hometown music. After a long night, breakfast the the Fleetwood.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Never could understand why the Quality Bakery was more popular than The Deluxe Pastry Shop on Washington, with side windows on Fourth. Quality's bread was much more like Wonder Bread, while Deluxe baked something with more substance. Their pastries were real, too, while Quality was an Early Adopter of the strangely plastic stuff that quickly became the norm in this country back in the 60s.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

I was under the impression Acme closed because the owner didn't want to run a brick and mortar store anymore, not the Recession.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

Allow me to vote for Purchase Radio, Ray Purchase was class act and I miss Ray and his store.

Hans Masing

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

I will second, third, and fourth and fifth and however many I need to support this. I am a tinker by nature, and there was never anything I couldn't find at Purchase Radio for some project or another. Ray was a great guy.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

Schoolkids' Records was good, but we still have Encore Records and Wazoo's, so things are good. However, Tree Town Toys is still missed terribly in my our household as is Shaman Drum. Other stores that missed are Schlenker's Hardware and Village Corners. Drake's will always have a special place in my heart.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Maudes on 4rth salads and Amaretto Mousse .


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

If we're doing restaurants I nominate La Pinata.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

And Oyster Bar/Spaghetti Machine!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

dItto, ditto, ditto

Marc Meadows

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

I recall the shops in Nichol's Arcade, especially the hoserie shop where my mother would buy boxed silk stockings.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

Missing Dough Boys and the Conservatory...


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Also a Doughboys on Stadium, and one on Plymouth Rd, I think. Best pastries around!

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

Dough Boys was in Kerrytown!

Linda Peck

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Drake's, hands down. Maison Edwards!! Loved Mr and Mrs Edwards and truly miss Madame Edwards. She was a friend to me since 1962. I still own a black and white lotus covered silk scarf I bought from her. My husband used to by French perfume for me there!

Linda Peck

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

DJBudSonic, the tobacco store is all that is left, that and the Caravan shop, that Mr and Mrs Edwards owned. Maison Edwards is some other store now, don't remember what though.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

Isn't that Maison Edwards still there in the arcade? The tobacco shop that also had a gift store next to it?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

And I miss The Rubiyat, Leidy's, Quality Bakery...oh many great memories. But, I see them being made now with a new generation and great places like Cafe Zola and The Seedling (Zeeb Rd)!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

I miss Jacobson's, Artisan's, Stanger's, Marimekko, Hutzel's, Jules, Trish DeBoer, The Bagpiper, The Whiffletree, Cracked Crab, Leo Ping's, The Stadium Tavern, The Pretzel Bell....and a dress code.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

The Bagpiper was one of my favorite stores..


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Sitting on my love seat from Jules right now...

Marc Meadows

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

Not to forget Wahr's Books!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

And I'm so old, I fondly remember Muehlig's (where all the staff was at least the age I am now). The overhead change trolleys between counters and the office . . . sigh. Bought yards and yards of fabric there.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

No, Eyeheart, it was a dry goods store next to Goodyear's on Main. (You're obviously too young a sprout.) I suppose there could have been a family connection to the funeral home - Muehlig was/is one of many venerable German names in Ann Arbor.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

..Like the funeral home?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Can't believe no one mentioned DeLong's BBQ! Open late and the best sauce around. Trout dinner, sauce on all.

Michigan Man

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Add Overbeck Bookstore to the list.

Sandy Castle

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

The Bistro and Pastabilities, both in Kerrytown.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

The original Jefferson Market.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Generations -the toy store on Main. Kline's. Long ago there were a bunch of great little stores on the corner of State and Liberty - I think there's a coffee shop there now? I fondly remember the Border's on State and the Hallmark store that was next to it. What about the Bagel/ Fragel place on South U.? I still miss Maude's restaurant.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Fiegels, Tices,Wagners, Klines, Goodyears...

West of Main

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Wow, Ann Arbor used to be a cool town, didn't it?

Marc Meadows

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Complete Cuisine Ltd. in Main Street (when my mother first opened and owned it); and before that, Kitchen Port, even before it moved into Kerrytown.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

mayer schairer,lucky drugs ,schlenkers,wilkinsons and Viking Sewing along with the Department stores made one feel you could get most anything downtown,then Borders/Leidy/Jakes and Marimekko gave it a little something special feel. Now.....not so much. Raising rents and making parking so expensive is hard for businesses, as one leaves,so the next one readies for departure. Can't believe it's devolved to chain drugstores and restaurant row.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

Whoa - Mayer Schairer! It was a stationery shop, right, and business supplies? Wow, I had forgotten all about it. Nice one!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

The luggage shop on Main was Wilkinson's The lists bring back alot of memories shopping in Ann Arbor. If I listed them I'd be telling my age.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Dave's Ski Shop which later became The Peak (the Two Wheel Tango building on Packard) Tee and Ski - on S. State where Computer Medic is


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Rudy Catal! I wonder what he's up to these days...


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

these comments tell me that downtown A2 was far more appreciated in the past than now with overload of restraunts & bars, SS kresges, woolworths, Sugar bowl, fiegels, kliens, Round Table, Quality Baker, and Deluxe bakery on washington, Capital Market, Lucky Drug,Goodyears, Mulieghs drygoods, Old German, Wagners, Jacobsons, Leidys, campus bike an Toy (where I bought my Frist Schwin 10 speed).Drakes sandwich shop, Wilds,Hessenauers, Kiddie corner,Goodyears dept store,Marti walker, But we still can support some of the oldies Seyfried jewelers, krazy Jims blimpy Burger, washtenaw dairy, seems like downtown is lacking theses days.

charlotte m.

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 7:20 a.m.

There are plenty of local stores still on Main Street, and we should appreciate them all the more for their perseverance! Including Crazy Wisdom, Footprints, Falling Water, Four Directions, Peaceable Kingdom, Selo-Schevel, and more!

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

Blame City Council. They destroyed our city as did the developers.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

The Cracked Crab.......waiting in line inside between the tables...


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

What was the name of the luggage shop on Main that closed a few years ago? Loved going into that place and the staff was helpful. They sold more than just luggage especially at Christmas. And the toy store the two ladies ran near Palio. That was a lot of fun, too.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

Generations was the toy store next to Palio.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

That was Wilkinson Luggage Shop. When they closed, they had been there for just over 100 years, if I remember correctly.

Roger Rayle

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

reminisce more at ... and add your personal knowledge of former businesses.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Miss Campus Bike and Toy on William, Borders on Liberty, and John Leidy on Liberty.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Ann Arbor Music Mart


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Ah, yes...those eateries: P Bell, Whiffletree, et al. By the way, I wish someone had told me that BF (Black Friday) was open to anyone. All these years my wife's gone out to support the local economy, while I stayed at home waiting for WF (White Friday). Now I know.

Patti Smith

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I really like Afterwords on Main Street. Totally affordable and a fun place to wander around. Also, Liberty Street Video. I swore I wouldn't get Netflix as long as it was in business...I signed up about a month after it closed down. I like Netflix a lot but I miss the video store.

Patti Smith

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Oops, I mean "liked" Afterwords.

Seasoned Cit

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Schlenker's Hardware with its creaky floors, and tin shop. Stadium Hardware is a quality replacement but certainly doesn't have the uniqueness of Schlenkers.

Rod Johnson

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.



Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Woolworth s ,Huron Lanes and 20th Century Lanes. A&P on Huron. Used to get my hair cut next to the bus station. They had mirrors in front and behind you when you were getting your hair cut in seemed like there was 100 of you.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

The Del Rio, Whiffletree, Village Corner, the Bagel Factory, Bimbo's, College Shoe Repair, Mickey Rats, Middle Earth (when it used to be a head shop), Bird of Paradise, Second Chance, Stein and Goetz, Ehnis and Sons, Vogel's, Pizza Bob's. Does anyone remember the name of the Jewish/Italian deli that was between the State Theater and Olga's?


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Thanks. I don't get out much.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

Village Corner didn't close they just moved. Pizza Bob's still exists.

Jack Kenny

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.



Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

The store I miss most is Fiegel's ... as much because of the owners and staff as the merchandise!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

My dad bought all of his suits there.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

The Merchant of Vino. Eddie Jona should have never sold out to Whole Foods. Webster's Books. Nice to have a small book store on the North Side. Dave's Comics. Great comic book store.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

Not the same. The Old Merchant of Vino, with the Produce Station and Pastabilities and Marv's Meats all inside was a great shopping experience. And a great place to work.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Correct. Plum is owned by Eddie's son.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Not sure where I got this idea, but I thought Plum Market was opened by the Jonas. Is this correct?

laura wolf

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

no one has mentioned my favorite as a kid - the blue front. they had comics, books, models, candy and lots of other stuff including cats sometimes. also shipman's and kiddy korner toy stores and the satellite restaurant on south u.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Paula - tough position, pitting your memory against the collective town's memory. :) Nice job, regardless. My top three were definitely Kitchen Port, Acme and Borders...


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

They were great stores! and Paula, we want more of these!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

I used to go to Bimbo's for my birthdays. As kids we loved throwing the peanut shells on the floor.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Oh, right!! I forgot about that place but remember the fun I had!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Oh yes, Drakes and Quality Bakery and Klines for sure ... but no one has mentioned Mueligs yet - on the corner of Main and Washington, where lawyers live now. Remember the pneumatic tubes that shot money and bills around the store?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : midnight

Muehligs used pneumatic tubes. I remember them well.

Perry White

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

I think that they were baskets on wire trolleys up to the cashiers on the mezzanine, not pneumatic tubes.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

I worked at Goodyears at 18 and I loved those tubes. I worked with the bra ladies in the lingerie department!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

@microtini: no, there used to be a Kresge's where mongolian bbq now stands, if you go around the corner to Washington, you can still see fragments of the red paint that read s.s. Kresge's.

Jeff Gaynor

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

I agree with you Linda; I just voted mady 'up' to get her back to even.

Linda Peck

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

mady, why would anyone, anyone (???) vote your message down? I cannot imagine that. What is the problem with remembering Kreske's? I remember it well and also Kiddieland.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

It was Kiddeland in between


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Yes, but after Kresge's it was Kiddie Land!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Kline's, Kline's, Kline's. Bought all my office clothes there. Still wearing some.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

I think all of the neckties I still have and wear on occasion, Kline's!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Jacobson's, the old Borders before they became too big, and John Leidy were my favorite Ann Arbor shops. All three had outstanding customer service. Sadly, Jacobson's and Borders lost the great shopping experience when they started to expand all over the place, and John Leidy was never the same after Mr. Leidy himself stopped manning the store. He was a class act; I never had a better shopping experience.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

I felt John Leidy store remained professional and helpful up to closing. But the changes in quality of goods, demands of manufacturers, and the decline of people shopping/registering for wedding gifts affected them. That's why they closed one store and consolidated in the last few years before closing the last one. Hats off to Liz and Mrs. Leidy for carrying on years after John died.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

Those stores are high on my list too, BH. I have a postcard on my bulletin board that focuses on the Michigan Theatre, but I bought it because it also shows John Leidy. You could browse as long as you liked, and Mr. Leidy was happy to answer endless questions about the beautiful things in his store--I think he enjoyed teaching almost as much as selling. When my friends and I were bottom-rung teachers at U-M, this was where we bought each other wedding and special birthday gifts.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Being a small business owner I fully support the Shop Small Business program. The irony is that AMEX charges small businesses such a high rate for using their card at the business that many small independent stores can't afford to allow them as one of the credit cards they accept.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Amen to that. The irony is that Amex gives a great deal to Costco to make it the only card they accept (or issue to their members...), charges small businesses much more than other card issuers for taking their cards -- and then hoodwink the public by encouraging them to use their Amex cards for "Small Business Saturday".


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Leidys, Leidys, Leidys, Leidys, Leidys. The most wonderful, helpful, friendly store ever. Oh, how I miss them. When I lived in Detroit, I would phone or write, ordering fill-in pieces for my china. They would send the pieces, along with a bill -- even though they didn't know me and had never met me, they trusted me to pay. Oh, the Good Old Days.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

As a kid I have fond memories of great trips to Kiddie Land, Generations, and Farmer Grant's.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

And the Whiffletree Restaurant!!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

If you can say Drakes, I can say: Mr Floods Party I miss the part I can remember.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Ain't that the truth!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

I miss Quality Bakery, it used to be where The Palio is now. I had so many childhood birthday cakes from there...


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Oh Quality. Miss that place and its soft pretzel sticks. My uncle used to get them before every home Michigan game.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

If you ever go to Grand Rapids you should visit Van's Pastry on Fulton SE. Not as grand as the Quality but has the same vibe. You can look in the back and watch the bakers at work.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Me too. Ann Arbor doesn't even have a bakery anymore! (and no, cupcake stores don't count)

Jeff Renner

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Two west side local small businesses that I'm glad are still here are Stadium Hardware and Nicola's Books.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

@Susan and Jeff -- amen! I love Hollanders.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Those are two of my favorite small businesses, too. I miss Fresh Season's Market, which closed about three years ago. It was a nice place to stop on the way home from work to pick up something quickly. It had easy parking, always good food, unique items at the holidays, beautiful flowers, and always friendly people that worked there. The people made that place! (Of course, good bread, too, Jeff)


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Amen to that Jeff Renner! I live on the north side of Ann Arbor now but still go there every week. Stadium Hardware saved me hundreds of dollars with their free fix it and clean it, etc, advice. I love those guys. And as sorry as I was to see Borders leave town, Nicola's has benefitted and her store is the best bookstore in town, if not the state. It is one of my "go to" gift stores.

Susan Montgomery

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I like this trend better, in addition to listing ones you miss (Acme Mercantile, Drakes, Klines) let's also list the ones we still enjoy, to help people remember to shop there this season - For me it's Peaceable Kingdom on Main, and Sam's on Liberty.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

My husband asked how I could miss Ehnis & Sons. He's also nostalgic for the Ulrich's at State and North University.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Yes without Ehnis have to drive all the way past Brighton for Red Wing Shoes. I took my well worn junior high hiking boots in there once right before they closed, to see if they still made them, so I could get a new pair; and they were so excited to see them they called all the staff out to look, apparently they had stopped making them the year after I got them (1982) and I was told they missed that boot more than any other. Who remembers a 20 year old boot style?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Ulrich's had a good selection of art supplies.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Girl, you slippin'.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

We have lost many marvelous stores from the downtown area. Many commented on many of those I, too, loved to go to. Klines and Montgomery Wards were two others. That's probably taking us back quite a ways. To all, a blessed holiday season.

Go Blue

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Stangers, Little Things, Schlenker Hardware, the original Blind Pig, Central Cafe, PJs and the Other PJs, the steak house on State Street where you stood in line with a tray and ordered, the Betsy Ross restaurant, the Village Bell on South U..................??


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

I watched Robert Asprin write his first novel, in pencil, at the Village Bell.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

I still miss Complete Cuisine, especially after the opened their restaurant


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.



Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

You missed the main draw of this American Express promo (besides supporting small businesses). Click on the Amex link in the article, register your Amex card(s), and spend $25 or more at a small business and Amex will reimburse $25 in a statement credit. Businesses are listed on that age also, so you can verify they are a small business. If you have multiple cards on an acct, register all of them. We have 5. $25 at the hardware,$store, 25 for pizza, $25 for movies, and $50 at dinner (2 x $25 on separate cards).... great way to support local businesses!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Thanks for the Christmas gifts!

Jen Eyer

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Love the creative thinking!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

We might not have any useful stores at which we can shop, but hey - we can get any number of smoothies, hot dogs, pizzas, and t-shirts with Michigan logos on them. That's what really defines a town, isn't it?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

So true, and so tacky, isn't it?

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Drake's! That was one of the first places I thought of when I started talking about this column. Somehow, I moved it to the "restaurant" part of my brain (that can be a separate list soon, eh?). I loved Drake's. And I couldn't remember the name of Kiddie Land (in the Mongolian BBQ space), but do recall the store. I also almost put John Leidy in at number 5. I never actually shopped there, but enjoyed the window displays for years.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Yes, Drakes, along with the Betsy Ross in the Arcade. Also PJ's and the Virginian on State. Ooh, and the Whiffletree!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Ryder's Hobby, especially when it was downtown, and Kitchen Port.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Our kids loved Ryder's and also Middle Earth and Schoolkids.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

Ryder's Hobby for sure, I did spend a lot of time and money there....back in the day!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Kitchen Port was a treat just to walk around in. Bought many wedding gifts there.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Of all the stores that are gone, I missed Schoolkids the most. There were many a record they sold that no other store had; they were amazing.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

I agree!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Joe's Star. . .

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

Grateful I had a chance to experience the Lounge during its heyday!

Betsey ready

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

I miss Eden Foods, Turtle Island, and Sun Bakery back in the day natural foods were pure and simple.

Linda Diane Feldt

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Actually, Bobby John, it was the Herb and Spice Co-op and The Soy Plant in one small space. People's Food Co-op did acquire the Herb and Spice Co-op in the mid 80s or thereabouts, but it was never People's, which was around the corner close to our current location. Initially all those alternative businesses were separate - with Wildflour Bakery, and the Produce Co-op as part of the mix. Those were different times. It is amazing that People's Food Co-op is still around, over 40 years later!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

People like you keep 'em alive, Betsey!


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

I still remember fondly the People's Herb and Tofu Coop on Ann Street.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

Great list! I also miss Kiddie Land from back in the day. It was a treat when I got to go there! Campus Bike and Toy, as well. Got some memorable things from there.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Forgot about Kiddie Land! Loved it.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Yes, Kiddie Land was where Mongolian BBQ is now.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Was one of those in the spot that is now occupied by Mongolian Barbeque?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Golden Falcon. . .


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Yeah, a very cool dance club. I believe the full name was "Gino's Golden Falcon". Good music, and people dressed to the nines. Never had any trouble that I knew of.


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

A nightclub on Fourth Ave before Maude's, closed in 77?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Never heard of it. What was it?

Janet Neary

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

My top five would be: Goodyear's, Drake's, Jacobson's, John Leidy, and Barclay's Gallery. There was always something of quality to find there.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Barclay's original owners still work in downtown Ann Arbor. They moved their Japanese woodblock business online. The new (i.e. last) owners sold other stuff that didn't much interest me.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Goodyear"s would have someone come out to your house with a purchase if needed and with wedding presents for your daughter from out of town buyers. They also had one of those lovely ladies who could find the right bra for you. They were called "corsetiers".


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Yes to the first 3 but John Leidy and Barclay's Gallery were useless Tschotske stores to me.

Dexter Man

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Here are some additional stores I miss. Goodyears, Cunningham and Kresge, Tices, Campus Bike and Toy,Quality Bakery as well as other stores on Main Street. It used to be you could shop on Main St and then they opened Briarwood. So much for progress.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

Isn't Campus Bike and Toy still alive on Maynard?


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

Hey Popcorn fans remember the Crispy Corn on Liberty?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

Boy does that bring back memories.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

I'll say it first: Drake's.

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

and their legendary limeade.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

I liked the chocolate covered coffee beans.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

It was replaced by a big chain Bagel place on North University.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

And they had every flavor of chocolate liquor cordials...mmmm


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

N. University near State.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

Someone clue me in.where was it ?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.



Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

The first place where I felt at home after moving here for the first time in 1973. I miss it too.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Ypsigreen, you took the words right out of my mouth!! Drake's had not only the *best* Chocolate Malts I've ever had, but nowhere else could you order a peanut-butter-and bacon(don't knock it if you haven't tried it)sandwich. Ah, the memories I have of that place.