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Posted on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:45 a.m.

Village Pub offers a welcome new neighborhood hangout

By Julie Halpert


Sarah Cullum, of Ann Arbor, right, and Cherelle Weber, of Ypsilanti, enjoy a meal at the Village Pub.

Chris Asadian |

A pub aimed at becoming a hangout for locals in the neighborhood is the latest business to make an attempt to thrive in a geographically challenged space. Village Pub, which opened Dec. 11, succeeds the short-lived Asian Fuzion, which once occupied the space next to the Honey Baked Ham store on Washtenaw. The location has experienced high turnover through the years.

The restaurant is named for the nearby Pittsfield Village development in the hopes that it will become a "family-friendly, hometown bar," said manager Lisa Rasak. She said it's already become a favorite among those who live nearby.

The interior is warm and inviting. There's a long, granite bar down the center that spans the back part of the restaurant. Seven flat-screen televisions are on the walls, interspersed with pictures of modern art, making for an eclectic decor. There are several high-backed booths that provide a more private dining experience.


Village Pub
3452 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor
  • Hours: There are no set hours yet, but it is generally open Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

  • Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover.

  • Liquor: Yes.

  • Prices: Moderate.

  • Value: Very good.

  • Noise level: Quiet.

  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

The food includes appetizers like wings and nachos, as well as salads, sandwiches, pizzas prepared by Cottage Inn and some larger entrees. In addition to a full bar, there are 12 beers on draft and 15 by the bottle, as well as a dozen different types of wines offered by the bottle and glass.

I started by sampling the house chardonnay, a bargain at $5 a glass, but it was much too sweet. The B.V. Pinot Noir was far better, rich and full-bodied. The margarita was lip-puckering salty, though that nicely accented the lime taste.

Food-wise, Village Pub does best with the basic bar fare. I enjoyed the piled-high nachos, which were lightly sprinkled, instead of doused, with cheese. Pieces of prime beef added a nice touch to the assortment of blue, red and yellow tortilla chips. The Caesar salad was excellent, tossed with the perfect amount of dressing, along with croutons made from the bread of local bakeries and slivers of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Village wings also were delicious. We ordered ours cooked in the barbeque sauce and they were sweet, tender and juicy, with meat that easily peeled off the bone.


A Village Pub burger is ready to serve.

Chris Asadian |

The 10 different burgers are the specialty, made with prime beef and served in half-pound portions. I particularly enjoyed the mushroom burger, which was served on a fresh brioche roll, cooked to my specifications. The New York Reuben packed an enormous portion of corned beef and also was quite good. The salmon on the salmon sandwich was fresh, complemented by a sauce that made this a great dish.

Some of the other entrees at Village Pub didn't fare quite as well. The calamari fell short, tasting like fish sticks, with sauce resembling bottled Thousand Island dressing. Our server recommended the fish and chips, since she thought they were better made with haddock, instead of the traditional cod. But the haddock, though fresh, didn't hold up as well when fried as cod. It lacked sufficient crunch and flavor.

I was surprised that the Village Pub doesn't offer any desserts. Pie, cheesecake or ice cream would be a nice addition to the menu.

Servers on both our visits were eager to please and checked in on us frequently, though we were among just a few dining parties. The first time, the owner stopped by our table asking for feedback and promised to deliver a better steak in the future after a member of my dining party confessed it was subpar.

Especially if you stick with the classic bar fare, and are looking for a cozy place to gather and watch sports in this part of town, Village Pub is certainly worth a visit.

Julie Halpert reviews restaurants for

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Doug Post

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:20 a.m.

I have been there three times. Once with my brother, once with my wife and tonight by myself for dinner. All three times the food was excellent and the service and atmosphere even better. Craig tonight the TVs over the bar were on three different channels. The location is great plenty of parking and you don't have to fight downtown congestion. I had reuben, quesedilla and nachos, all 3 were outstanding. They put real melted cheese instead of cheese sauce for me tonight without making a big deal out of it.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

I never visited the restaurants that were in there after Makkara left....kept meaning to but never did. A couple weeks ago I decided that I'd stop in and check it out. When I went in I was surprised that there weren't many people there during lunch. However, I ordered the recommended chicken quesadilla and it was delicious....and HUGE! I'm hoping this place can make it! Unless they make a change though, don't order the iced's instant, not freshly brewed and it tastes like it. Give them a try. If I lived in Pittsfield Village, it would be great if you could just walk there but I live further away.

Mike D.

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

"High turnover through the years" is abjectly false. Makkara thrived there for many years (a decade, maybe?) until the landlord effectively refused to renew the lease because he wanted to open his own restaurant in the space. That didn't work out, but it wasn't because of any problem with the location. It casts an unfairly bad light on the place to imply the location is a bad one when it's been management, not location, that has determined the success or failure of various businesses there.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

No thanks, I prefer my bars (and restaurants) to be in the downtown area. Thanks for playing.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

It's hard to be a neighborhood bar if you are not in the neighborhood.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

It is a pub, not a bar or a restaurant.

Patti Smith

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Gotta is the selection of Michigan beers?


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Last night: Founder's Dirty Bastard, Bell's Two Hearted and another Bell's seasonal. Prices not outrageous, but none were eligble for happy hour. It's a nice, place, though.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

The 'barracks" were at Willow Run, not Pittsfield Village. I know two people that lived at Willow Run after the war that then took buses to campus. Many stories from them about the "hillbillies" that also lived there, raising chickens in the bathroom, knife fights on weekends, etc. Then, when more housing was built, the UM people were able to move to town, and Pittsfield Village was one such place.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

Some friends and I went there for the first time last week: The sliders were tasty, the pizza was good, and the service was excellent. My only complaints were that they don't serve Newcastle on draft despite the prominent neon sign in the window, and seven screens all filled with sports in such a small space. As someone who couldn't care less about sports, I'm getting tired of seeing them on every screen at virtually ever bar I go to.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

I've been there twice so far. Once with my wife, two daughters and a son-in-law to be, once with just my wife. The food is very good in all our opinion's and the beer is cold. Enough TV's to see "the big game" . What more can I ask for? My only question is whether the 4 TV's across the top of the bar are all tethered to the same channel? In my 2 visits they all had the same game on. Once was a no brainer...the Lions in the playoffs.

Jeff Renner

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

"... the nearby development of former military barracks, now condominiums ...". I'm pretty sure that isn't true. Arborwiki says that Pittsfield Village was "originally intended to house Willow Run workers during World War II, and then used to house returning GIs when the war ended." Willow Run workers, who built B-24 bombers, were civilians.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

No dessert?! What are we over-eating Americans supposed to do? Order another glass of wine. That'll give you the same amount of calories as a dessert. Seriously, though, this place sounds like a good fit for the area - I'll certainly give it a go