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Posted on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Noodles & Co., Tim Hortons site plans on Ann Arbor Planning Commission's agenda this week

By Lizzy Alfs

Ann Arbor City Planning Commission will consider four requests for business developments at its meeting Tuesday night, including a site plan for a Noodles & Co. restaurant on West Stadium Boulevard and a plan for a Tim Hortons on South State Street.

The Noodles & Co. proposal calls to demolish the former Sze-Chuan West restaurant at 2161 W. Stadium - which closed in February 2011 - and construct a 2,679-square-foot building with a reconfigured parking lot, outdoor patio and additional landscaping.

Chuck Gallup of Gallup Properties owns the property.


Ann Arbor Planning Commission will consider a request to demolish the former Sze-Chuan West restaurant and build a Noodles & Company restaurant on West Stadium Boulevard.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Rigg

Another item on the agenda is a request from Tim Hortons to build a restaurant at the site of the former Enzo’s Sports Bar on South State Street.

The site plan, which was submitted in September 2011, calls to build a 1,950-square-foot Tim Hortons drive-through, with both interior and exterior seating for dining.

Tim Hortons hopes to begin construction this spring and open for business this summer, according to city documents.

The plans will leave the property owner, First Martin Corporation, with room to build a second retail building on the site.

Other items on the agenda:

--A request from the AAA branch at 1200 S. Main St. to demolish its existing 9,320-square-foot building and construct a new 5,443-square-foot one on an adjacent parcel, which is currently used for AAA parking. The project will also reduce the number of parking spaces from 95 to 36.

--A request from the owner of the Shell gas station and convenience store at 2679 Ann Arbor-Saline Road to convert the 900-square-foot carwash area into new retail space and construct an addition. The plans include a provision for a coffee and pastry shop.

City planning officials are recommending approval of the Noodles & Co. Tim Hortons and AAA plans, and postponement of the Shell gas station plan. After a Planning Commission public hearing and vote, the plans will go to Ann Arbor City Council for approval.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

Just curious. Does Tim Horton still put mushrooms in his chili? Truly weird concept.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

I thought so, too.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

These chains are horrible and cheapen our lives. Who needs a Tim Horton's next to campus where who knows how many places serve better coffee and better sandwiches. They do have donuts, but ever since they stopped making them in store they hardly warrant the calories. Let us home that this will be a short-lived error, especially as the owner of the property is throwing out a really good, locally owned coffee house. As for Noodles--why?????????????? LIfe is too short for such food.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

@jns131: I'm not sure what your child ordered but I am in Noodle and Company in Arborland a lot and the prices aren't that high. If you get the Trio you get a pasta (any noodle) with any meat in it and either a salad or soup and it's $7.80. So your comment that you can't get a bowl of noodles for $10.00 is completely wrong


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

I still say boycott anything that costs more then 7 or 8 bucks for a bowl of noodles and a drink. Way too high for my tastes.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

My child went with her school group, $10 in hand to buy a bowl of noodles. When I asked for the change? She said she owed someone else money because the money did not go far enough to buy the food and a drink. Boycott this horrible restaurant that steals money from children who just want something simple. I will never set foot in there ever. I am still thinking of a lawsuit against that place for selling food that is horribly over priced. Wish something else would go in beside a bowl of noodles I can buy at a local grocery store for $1. Enough said. Very sad day to see a place like this setting up shop.

Rod Johnson

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

You definitely should sue. And keep us informed. I am really curious what look the judge will have on his face.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

How old is your child? What did she order? Myself I'm a small bowl of butter noodles, add chicken and a roll and a drink and only spend about 8 bucks. If even that. I think she's lying to you...


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Can't wait to see that lawsuit. Give us the grounds for it. If you do not like it, DONT GO. There is NO SUCH THING as overpriced. they have these things called menus. You read them before hand. If you can not afford them, do not eat there. Simple plan. Why dont you let us know what the average profit margin for a restaurant is. Tell us what that is for Noodles and Company and then talk., Until then, it sounds like you have no clue.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

I heard the vacant gas station at miller and maple is going to be demolished and redeveloped into a Speedway. As for Tim Hortons, why not get the Maple one going? I've also heard there is some conflict with the reuse of the building (Chinese resturant that burned down). Ann arbor wants them to meet current setbacks and they plan to redevelop the existing building. I understand if the exisiting building and the nonconformities may be an issue. Just hope it doesn't kill the project. I've been waiting for a Tims on the west side for years. Also, will the owner of the new building at miller and maple just lease the thing already!!!!!! Enough is enough, I highly doubt he's had NO Offers in the 5 years I've stared at it!!!!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

That burn down to me was always suspect. Current setbacks? That building sits way back from Maple, they could but it in the middle of that side lot and still have plenty of space all around it. Hope the city doesn't mess that up, we want our TH and we really want the old Chinese restaurant lot utilized, it's an eyesore, waste of space and an embarresment to the rest of the plaza.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8 p.m.

A Speedway? O I would love to see that more so then a bowl of over priced noodles.

4 Fingers

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

Originally The 'Sze West' was called Kale's Waterfall. My Father knew the owner and used to take us there for dinner in the '70's. Anybody else remember that?

Go Blue

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Sure do and it seems the exterior was totally different when it was Kales Waterfall. I think it may have been one of the more upscale restaurants in town back then. Sadly it will go the way Bolgos' place on Plymouth Road went and Everett's on Stadium.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

The inside of Sze-Chuan is one of the coolest restaurants in ann arbor. It's like a white cave and the bar area was so unique. Normally I don't care about that kind of thing, but for some reason I really do with Sze-Chuan . It would be a shame if some cookie-cutter "crap on the wall" corporate america place came and replaced it with drywall and workers with 'flare' buttons. It's a free economy and will go to the high bidder, just a shame to me that such a cool building would get demolished. It's unfair to the new owner, but if they demolish the current building, I'll never eat there for that reason alone, regardless of what food they sell. I just couldn't do it to Sze-Chuan....


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

Great, more corporatist schlock-food. The "blanding" of Ann Arbor continues...


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

More long they going to last.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

So excited for Tim Hortons! The closest one is in Ypsi on Hewitt Rd. Still not very convenient for me but at least we will have a couple more to choose from :)


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 4:10 a.m.

no, that one closed, they were combined with Wendy's. Wendy's is still there, but no Tim Hortons :(

Rod Johnson

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

Isn't there one on Boardwalk down by Briarwood? Or did that close?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

I'll always have fond memories of the 1980s permutation of Szechuan-West (there is still the excellent original btw if you are nostalgic for ginger-garlic chicken or pork!) I welcome a new, clean business to replace the horrifically dated/dilapidated Szechuan. We do get the hankering for N&C's mac-n-cheese or pad-thai noodles with tofu (yeah,'s fast-food, but we can't always make the time to drive to Thai Thai for the Real Deal!) Sometimes a gal just wants to not cook/pick up something tasty. :O)


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Only if you make a lot of money can one afford to buy anything there. Mac and Cheese? I can make that myself for half the price of what they charge. Boycott Noodle Company.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Just a note: Tim Hortons did sign a deal to open a store in Maple Village, but no site plans have been submitted to the city yet. <a href=""></a>


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

the only demos and builds I am interested in are the Speedway at Miller and Maple and the Tim Hortons on Maple near Jackson. The other ones I am not concerned with, I am happy something will go where Sze-Chuan was just b/c that spot needs an update but I will never eat there.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Were any other proposals for the Szechuan restaurant site? Why Noodles and Co? Is it possible to attract any other restaurants or something that is not a chain? Since that is a prime location along Stadium Blvd, and the building is to be demolished, can it be put to any other use? As for AAA, I love the building on S. Main just the way it is. There's no need to spend that kind of money to build a new one, unless they are NOT going to pass it on to its members (which I highly doubt). The parking is already very limited, but I've never seen it full either, so to reduce the spaces I think is probably okay. Tim Hortons should build the location on Maple Road first, before they start construction on S. State Street. I would not want to see them back out of the deal for Maple, since that location could really use some new life.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

Glad YOU make the choices that AAA or any other business should do with their dollars. If only there was a way you could get lower rates on insurance. maybe SHOP for a new insurer. Give me a break, the building is old and outdated with today's technology. They do not need all the space (kind of like a family of 5 can down size when they no longer have kids at home to save on energy bills etc). These kinds of ill-informed ME FIRST comments are what is wrong with people.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

Let's see next to a brand new Costco on S. State or build next to the old K-Mart on Maple??? Can't say I am too surprised they chose S. State first.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

This is great! I miss the Chinese restaurant that was there (I frequently dined there in high school) but let's welcome either Tim Horton's or Noodles! Now if we could only get a Noodles in Saline --- sigh...


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

At some point, as far as restaurants go, enough is enough!!!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Well let's see, there is one thing I know no matter what the economy. PEOPLE EAT. I can stop going to a jewelers. I can stop shopping for appliances. I can avoid new cars, but no matter what I manage to eat EVERY day. Amazing how that works now isnt it. Maybe if you have better uses for those building YOU should put YOUR money up and have at it.

Bertha Venation

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

YA! Like our insurance rates aren't bad enough. $950 year for a Hoveround? C'Mon, already!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Of course I understand that the old Sze-Chuan West is beyond saving. All the same, I'll be sorry to see this unique and idiosyncratic building bite the dust. I had many good meals (not to mention my first pina colada) in that grotto.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

If you knew what's in there, behind the scenes (I do) you would not say that!!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Yes! Navigating to either of the existing Noodle Co, simply for a quick meal or carryout is not worth the trouble, especially from the westside.

Carmen Wallace

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

A third Noodles &amp; Co in A2? geez.. how many do we need?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

Well lets see, there is a McDonalds on Stadium, State Street, Ann Arbor/Saline Rd area, Washtenaw by Huron Parkway, Washtenaw east of US 23, Plymouth Rd, Baker Rd, Zeeb Rd, Carpenter and Ellsworth, Carpenter in front of Sams Club at Michigan, yet you wonder why a thrid Noodles? There are three Applebee's in town. Four Panera's, six Jimmy John's, two Panda Express. It is not how many are NEEDED. It is how many can be supported. Do we really need two Meijer or two Targets? Do we really need two Lowes?

Rugeirn Drienborough

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

It has nothing to do with &quot;need&quot; and everything to do with &quot;want.&quot; How many Whole Foods locations do we &quot;need?&quot; When we demonstrate that we want something badly enough to pay for it, lo and behold, we get what we wish for. So, be careful what you decide you want, because you may well get it.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

Too bad-wasted opportunity as that could have been a destination spot. After a couple of trips, Noodles doesn't get a trip back for more adventurous eaters. The food can be made at home cheaper. A full service restaurant/grill/bar would have gotten steady business. What's with all the chain eating places anyway....


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Uh, as many as the private business wants to invest in and bring jobs to?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

i thought they were going to also build a tim hortons on stadium and maple road behind the shell station


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.



Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

They are.

Jim Osborn

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

I fail to see why AAA wants to replace their building. As a member, I do not want to pay still higher fees. I like their present building, and easy parking. If this article is correct - it will have less room, and less parking, and cost members more, and since I was just in this nice building, I see no reason to replace it. Why do it?

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

@Jim Osborn: Check out this article on why AAA wants to replace the building - <a href=""></a> A spokesperson said the extra parking isn't utilized and the building is outdated. She also said they need less storage space thanks to technology advances.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Uh, because the business wants to? It is a private business, correct?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Too bad about the AAA building, if approved. It's an attractive and stately structure. I'm sure another we'll be enamored with another glass and brick cube on the adjacent lot. What's the deal with the Tim Horton's planned for the Maple Village plaza? Heard they were going to build there, but nothing's happening. That old burned out restaurant it's supposed to replace is such an eyesore. AA should tell TH to get on the stick there as a condition of approving any other new site plan.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

It will be worth the drive west to Noodles &amp; Co. I hate that parking lot at Arborland. I probably will go more if this is approved.