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Posted on Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Glee star and U-M grad Darren Criss spotted at Bill's Beer Garden Thursday

By Jessica Webster


Glee cast member Darren Criss posed with the staff of Bill's Beer Garden during a quick break Thursday night. Left to right: Phillis Engelbert, Crystal Conway, Brian Carbine, Darren Criss, Andy Sell.

Courtesy photo

Bill's Beer Garden was packed with springtime revelers on the first night of the outdoor bar's spring season. Locals mixed with soon-to-be grads and their parents. Those paying careful attention might have recognized a face that they're more accustomed to seeing on their TV.

University of Michigan grad and Glee star Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson on the popular TV program) was in Ann Arbor last week, and dropped by Bill's Beer Garden with some friends on Thursday night.


Darren Criss with Bill's Beer Garden proprietor Bill Zolkowski.

Courtesy photo

"Darren was super warm and friendly," said Bill's Beer Garden publicist Phillis Engelbert. "It was a super-busy night at the beer garden. Staff was working incredibly hard to make the lines move fast. It was a real treat to have Darren come into the bar and hang out with us. It was the one time all night we took a break!"

Engelbert says it was after dark when Criss arrived at the outdoor drinking establishment, and only a handful of people recognized the Glee star.

Criss was accompanied by friend and musical director Tyler Duncan, late of My Dear Disco and Ella Riot. He will return to Ann Arbor for a free Sonic Lunch performance at the Michigan Theater June 13.

Bill's Beer Garden spring hours are now in effect, open every Thursday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Downtown Home and Garden parking lot at 210 S. Ashley St.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, May 7, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Seriously who really cares?? Just another way to mention bill's beer garden in This is borderline weak journalism.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Nevah heard of 'im. Next!


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

But you clicked on the link anyway. And you didn't have to get past the title of the article, so now you know.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:32 a.m.

OMG a person who went to a restaurant! News!

Dirty Mouth

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

Rush Limbaugh was spotted last week at Zingerman's Roadhouse. Just an FYI.

Jessica Webster

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

For real? I hadn't heard about that. Have pictures?


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Great, now my teenage daughter is going to want to hang out at Bill's Beer Garden in case he shows up again. :-)


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

New TMZ? More like, excited when famous people show up back in town. Personally, I like to know when celebs are around.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 6:47 p.m. The new TMZ.

Jessica Webster

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Most newspapers have entertainment or arts sections. We generally focus our entertainment reporting on local happenings and artists (actors, musicians, authors) with local roots. This happened to be a situation where an actor with local roots was back in town and spotted in a local drinking establishment. Hardly TMZ material.