Ypsilanti's historic Haab's restaurant featured on popular QVC after winning contest
QVC's camera crew set up equipment in Haab's, Ypsilanti's historic restaurant, on Thursday to film "In the Kitchen with David" host David Venable, and Associate Producer Mary DeAngelis's lunch with Ypsilanti resident Dwight Burdette.
Footage from the lunch will be aired on Sunday along with an announcement that the show will be hosted from Ypsilanti some time in late August.
The restaurant, an Ypsilanti staple since 1934, was selected as the contest winner earlier this month after being nominated by Burdette, a frequent visitor of the establishment.
"I've lived in Ypsilanti for 30 years and I often come to Haab's,” Burdette said. “It is by far my favorite restaurant. I just really like the food, the atmosphere and the historical aspect. I like it so much that I even authored the restaurant's Wikipedia page.”
Burdette said he regularly watches "In the Kitchen with David" and when Venable asked viewers to submit their favorite hometown restaurants for the contest, Burdette immediately thought of Haab’s, he said.
He submitted a photo of the dining room and wrote a brief description of his personal experience with the restaurant, as well as its long history with the community.
"Well of course when I made the nomination I thought it was very unlikely that it would even be a finalist,” Burdette said. “And then I got an email saying Haab’s was a finalist, but it didn’t quite hit me until I actually saw them announce it on the show."
Venable said Haab’s was selected from more than 500 entries sent in from across the U.S.
“From a pool of several hundred, we narrowed down to five finalists,” Venable said. “It was just really exciting to read the stories and learn more about local places because we really wanted to key in on a place that was a little off the beat and path, that was not a chain restaurant, was not a franchise, but something that had a history and a connection to the local town and Haab’s certainly was a great example of that.”
The restaurant’s rich tradition is what tipped the scale for Haab’s, Venable said.
“It was their long history and their anniversary celebration when they go back to their original prices for one day,” Venable said. “It just let us know that there was a rich history with this restaurant and a strong local tie with strong local support."
Taking "In the Kitchen with David" on the road is a new effort for the show, Venable said.
“We’re all about celebrating great food and a passion for great food,” he said. “And we felt what better way is there to do that then let folks in their local communities really tell us about places that they feel passionate about; places that they love and have become a tradition for them.”
"In the Kitchen with David" airs at noon on Sundays and at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.