Ruth Metzger, part of Ann Arbor's Metzger's German Restaurant, dies at 86
For years, Ruth Metzger was the familiar face that greeted the customers who came into the German restaurant she and husband, Walter, operated in downtown Ann Arbor.
“She was the greeter and everybody loved her at the restaurant,” Walter Metzger said Saturday. “Everybody knew her by name. It’s a family restaurant, and she worked there for many years.”
Ruth Metzger -- part of the family that owns Metzger’s German Restaurant, one of the area’s oldest restaurants -- passed away Friday at the age of 86.
Walter Metzger’s parents opened the restaurant in 1928 on Washington Street at Fourth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor, where the Arena Sports Bar is now located. Walter Metzger eventually took over the business in 1959 before selling the restaurant to his own son, John Metzger, in 1985.
The restaurant closed briefly in 1999 before reopening in 2001 in its current location at 305 N. Zeeb Road in Scio Township.
“She liked to talk to people and see people,” John Metzger said. “She was definitely part of the business for a long time.”
John Metzger said his mother was active working in the front of the house as a greeter and hostess and continued to frequent the restaurant several nights a week with her husband even after they retired.
“She loved working in the restaurant,” Walter Metzger said. “She loved meeting people. When they came in they would give her a hug. Everybody just loved my wife.”
Aside from the restaurant, Walter Metzger said his wife loved music and played the organ at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor. He said his wife was devoted to her faith and taught Sunday school at the church as well. Along with her faith, Walter Metzger said, his wife was devoted to their four children Fred, Susan, John and Heidi.
“Her family was her church were her life,” he said. “She was the best mother and wife that anybody could ever have asked for.”
A memorial service for Ruth Metzger will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Lutheran Church at 420 W. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor.