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Posted on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

Seva Restaurant to leave downtown Ann Arbor for west side shopping center

By Lizzy Alfs


The Jackson family, from left: Emma, Maren, Roy and Jeff. The new space in Westgate is about 900 square feet larger than Seva's current space.

Melanie Maxwell |

After 40 years, Seva Restaurant plans to vacate its building on downtown Ann Arbor’s East Liberty Street and move to a shopping center on the west side.

Seva owners Maren and Jeff Jackson signed a lease for a 5,500-square-foot space in the Westgate Shopping Center at Maple and Jackson roads. Previously occupied by Great Shanghai Restaurant, the space is situated between Hallmark Gold Crown and SVS Vision.

“I’ll be happy to go downtown as a consumer, and be out here as a worker,” Maren said. “We hope to make it a really smooth transition.”


Seva has occupied the building at 314 E. Liberty St. since 1973. file

Finalizing the deal this month ended the Jackson’s two-and-a-half-year search for real estate in Ann Arbor. They started looking for a new home for their vegetarian restaurant after they were told their rent in the VFW Hall building at 314 E. Liberty would increase by more than 50 percent.

When nothing was working out in the downtown area, the Jacksons turned to Westgate. Jim Chaconas of Colliers International’s Ann Arbor office — the company that brokered the Seva deal — said a number of national companies also were interested in the former Great Shanghai Restaurant space.

“Nothing (downtown) was fitting our needs,” Jeff said. “We have a big menu and we need a big kitchen. Plus, (Westgate) has free parking.”

Seva opened in 1973 on East Liberty Street, gathering a loyal following over the years with its strictly vegetarian menu, fresh juices and full bar. Maren started her career with the restaurant in 1979, and 18 years later, the Jacksons purchased Seva from Steve Bellock.

In 2011, the Jacksons opened a Seva location in Midtown Detroit, close to Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center.


Seva's new restaurant, with a projected opening date in December, is located in the Westgate Shopping Center in Ann Arbor.

Melanie Maxwell |

“The Detroit restaurant is just booming,” Maren said.

Not too much will change when Seva relocates its Ann Arbor restaurant, the Jacksons said, and the heart of the business — its extensive vegetarian menu — will stay the same.

Some differences will include: the new location won’t have an outdoor patio, but it will have a private events space. It will also have an updated look and the same employees.

“We probably won’t have booth seating at all,” Jeff said.

“We’ll probably have some of our stained glass pieces on the walls, but no more 1970s macrame look,” Maren joked.


The Jacksons said the new Seva in Ann Arbor will have updated aesthetics.

Angela J. Cesere |

The goal is to open the restaurant in Westgate in December once renovations are completed. The downtown restaurant will close shortly before the Westgate location opens.

“I’m not sad in the least,” Jeff said.

“I believe our business will improve because it will be easier to get to us,” he continued. “(Customers) are going to come. They’ll find us and we’ll make it work.”

Seva’s 4,600-square-foot space on East Liberty Street is being marketed for lease with Colliers for an annual $27.50 per square foot. Chaconas said negotiations are underway with two restaurant users interested in leasing the building.

The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, located in the basement of the VFW Hall building since 1987, also is looking for a new location.

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



Fri, Aug 16, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

I an truly and genuinely saddened by this decision. As a University student with celiac disease, this was one of the very few safe places for me to eat near campus. This now further constricts my already-restricted dietary options, and I know that many UM students and employees with celiac will also be deeply saddened by this decision to leave the campus area.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Awesome! My favorite restaurant will be closer to us...and no parking fees!


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:11 a.m.

Wonderful, now it'll be easier to park.


Sun, Jul 14, 2013 : midnight

I LOVE Seva and am sorry it won't be downtown any longer. I'll try to go to the Westgate location, but it's not my side of town or in my typical travel pattern. It is a great restaurant, based on its food alone, but it was also cool to be part of the downtown scene.


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Downtown Ann Arbor is lost and has been since the expensive corporate and venture chains moved in to attract culture-hacks from Livonia and Novi. There is little difference between downtown Ann Arbor and Royal Oak these days, except for the presence of UofM and its students (who are also more mainstream, wealthy, and bland than ever). Time for people to move to Detroit, we have a Seva ...


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Royal Oak is a GREAT city!


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

Would NEVER move to Detroit. It's a ghetto now. Lived there as a kid & it was an awesome place.


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Not sure why i picked annarbor Rickard as my name, since I live in Detroit these days... DetroitRickard.


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

As the owner of Grow With Me in Westgate, a vegetarian, and a huge fan of Seva for the past 30 plus years, I am so happy that they will be moving to Westgate. I know they will do absolutely great in the new location!

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 6:03 a.m.

The Jackson family are really great folks - as are the staff at the restaurant. Best wishes on the new endeavor.

Miguel Sun

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 5:49 a.m.

this is the end of Seva. So Sad. Downtown or nothing.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

So disappointing. :( Seva on Liberty is an Ann Arbor mainstay for a lot of us. I wish the Jackson family luck and thank them for their dedication.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

And to think that all these years I thought they were owned by an east Indian couple...wait...that's Raja Rani....seriously, I wish them luck in the new more approachable location for many of us, but I do hope they will try to replicate some of the ambience of the old days...though maybe not the back-breaking benches.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

What, no more macrame?? Oh my how things change in 40 years! Best of luck to a great restaurant!

Jody Durkacs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

I am happy to hear about the move as I live in walking distance to Westgate. I hope they start taking reservations for parties of 2 or 4 now! The only reason I only dined there every few months was that the place was too busy!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Never been there but want to try it now.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

I am sad to see them leave downtown. Going to Seva is an "event" due to the wonderful ambiance. That ugly space in Westgate is no comparison - no windows, low ceiling, no outdoor seating where you can watch passersby - ugh. I would rather have paid $1.00 more per entree' than go to Westgate.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Opinions are like elbows.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:14 p.m.

Please include comfortable seating for those 40 and over. Those wooden booths are back breakers.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

hopefully they are able to eradicate the crunchy pests previously in this space. their animal protein can wreck a good vegan dish.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

I wish them luck but will be sorry to see then leave since I primarily walk there for lunch. It is unlikely that I'll visit them in Westgate very often. I am also voting with the person who said 'best sweet potato fries'.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

the rent is too damn high!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

for Ypsi yes. Not for Ann Arbor

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

I didn't write this in the story, but originally, Seva and the Comedy Showcase were trying to look for space together downtown. Obviously, that didn't work out. Maren said this yesterday: "We're each others biggest fans!" The showcase is still looking for space, and hopefully, will sign a lease in coming months.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

I think all the landlord haters shouldn't be so greedy and expect the landlord to subsidize SEVA. Oh, I guess it just matters if you are pitching or catching who is greedy, huh?


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

It always depends who's bull is getting gored!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

Can we see a show of hands for anyone that would sell their house for LESS than someone was offering?


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

You can't blame the VFW for charging what the market will pay. ( especially if you take into account what they do with the funds received) And you can't blame Seva for going where they feel they will be able to afford it and do well.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

"Chaconas said negotiations are underway with two restaurant users interested in leasing the building." doesn't sound like a high rise to me.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

The sad part is the market won't pay that so it'll have to change, like into a whole block high rise.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

This makes me sad. Part of the experience of going to Seva was the ambiance, decor and location. I will miss all of that. That said, I will try it in the new location.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

I for one will be glad to see the pew benches go; as a shorter person (5'3"), I was never comfortable in the booths--my legs were always swinging and could not touch the floor.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Here's a reply from a VFW official that was posted in Dec 2012, same subject. Once again has failed to get both sides of the story. The VFW is not being greedy, just being practical...if this posting is factual, Seva (and Comedy Playhouse) by inference, reneged on keeping the building up. They should have been booted years ago. "This is a very miss leading article. The VFW had tried for over five years to come to terms with Seva and the Comedy Club. The VFW gave them a fair rent for years in return they were to maintain the building in good repair, which they have failed to do, this is way their lease has not been renewed. The VFW was never contracted for any comment for this article, shame on you Ms. Miller. The VFW spends over 80% of all monies it receives helping veterans and they families, if that sounds like greed so be it. VFW Post 423 has serviced the Ann Arbor veterans community for over 83 years and will continue to do so as long as we can. Milton J. Davis / Quartermaster"

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

@Firefly: I have reached out to the VFW , and the Jacksons seem to agree about the "practical" part. As Maren said in December, "No one's the bad guy here."


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

As someone who walks to Seva from my office at least once a week, I am sad to see yet another local business leave the downtown area. I am glad Seva has expanded to Detroit and that they have a space that will meet their needs in Ann Arbor, but this is a loss for downtown A2. Let's hope The Lunch Room opens before Seva closes the Liberty location ;)


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

While I am happy for Seva and think they will do well there, I am disappointed to see them leave downtown. I've enjoyed many, many pleasant meals there with my sister and nieces who are vegetarian. When they would come into town, we'd head to Seva and it fit in well with their visits because we could wander around downtown before and after lunch. We've been going there since my nieces were toddlers. As a matter of fact, we were there Monday because my niece is applying to UM and was here for a tour of the music school. Seva was her choice for lunch. Unfortunately, I rarely get to Westgate or that side of town, so I probably won't be spending much time at Seva in the future.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Good Riddance and Good Luck!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

"their rent in the VFW Hall building at 314 E. Liberty would increase by more than 50 percent" This is pure greed.

buvda fray

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

They do have some tasty stuff but... I predict a dilemma: Pull into the Westgate parking lot whilst very hungry... find a spot... jump out of the car with a taste for veggie whatever... and then it HITS you... the sweet savory smoke of the barbecue at Zingerman's Roadhouse. I am quite certain I will have no defense against the allure of the ribs, brisket, pulled pork, fried chicken and certified best mac and cheese on the face of the planet.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

Not really an issue for vegetarians, who are, after all, Seva's target demographic.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

I don't eat there as often as I should but when I do I am always impressed by their food! I wish them good luck with their move. That's a big transition after so many years in the same spot. West gate does get a lot of traffic and the parking is FREE and not a hassle like it is downtown so it will probably make it more convenient for patrons!

Lake Trout

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

EXCELLENT!!! I stopped going downtown after parking costs skyrocketed and didn't feel safe anymore. Welcome to the west side Seva's and looking forward to enjoying your wonderful food and great services again.


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Didn't feel safe down town Ann Arbor?

Lauren Erickson

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Can't be free parking. Best of luck to the Jacksons.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:07 a.m.

Best of luck to the Jackson's! This is clearly a major loss for downtown and a major gain for the west side. While we on the south side are getting a few more national chains -yippee! :-(


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

I think it was missed that Mr. Chiconas OWNS Westgate.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

@Kevin: A lot. He's a commercial real estate broker, so he has tons of listings around town, including many downtown. You can do a property search on the Colliers website:


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

How many other commercial spaces is Mr Chiconas involved in?

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Chaconas is a part owner of Westgate. He also sold the Jacksons Seva in 1997. Their relationship goes way back,


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

Chiconas is not the sole owner of Westgate. There are multiple partners.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

He also is the landlord that raised the current rent on Seva by 50%.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

While I'm sad to see them leave their downtown space, I'm really excited that they're relocating to the west side (near where I live). Wishing them the best of luck and I look forward to checking out their new space in December!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:32 a.m.

Maybe my s.o. and I are strange, but we find the booths extremely comfortable and relaxing, and like the sense of privacy they give. I began going to Seva when I was a med student and then resident in the mid-80s, and when I had time off loved the peaceful feeling of sitting in that room watching the light come through the stained glass and play off the wood. I've spent many a happy New Year's Eve in that room (bringing a balloon home for our cat when they used to have helium balloons with silver ribbons) and will miss it.

Michael Psarouthakis

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

The Jackson family are rock stars! Best wishes to them in their new location!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3 a.m.

We live barely a mile from Westgate so the new location will be really nice. We look forward to eating at the new location. I'm really glad they found a suitable location.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

I love Seva and used to go there regularly when I frequented the old Y. However, Westgate offers free parking. Seva will be a nice complement to the restaurants already there. I hope they keep their Persea Sandwich-- my favorite-- on the menu. It was missing for a long time. I think they will gain a whole new customer base. Wise move. I certainly will go there more often as I am in Westgate often.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

What a terrible landlord. It's not like whoever it was wasn't making money. How dare they essentially give the boot to two Ann Arbor staples? As much as I like Seva, I have to admit I only went there because I walk right by it; I, like many, simply won't make it out to some west side shopping center.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

@ spaghettimonsters And I, like many, simply don't make it downtown to some of the overpriced cafe's.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

Did you read the original article that stated that Seva was paying well below market rate for rent. The owners are the VFW Post 423. If they make any profit on the rent, it goes right back into the community helping local veterans and their families.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:54 a.m.

There is a bus that goes that way. Also, the bike routes access Westgate...and remember our Mayor and City Council want you to stop driving and walk/bike/bus!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

You have no idea if they were making money or not. Rent is a function of market pricing, nothing else. If someone else steps up to pay the rent, then they were not charging too much.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

Hopefully they'll take this opportunity to get rid of the most uncomfortable booths ever constructed. My only persistent complaint with Seva is that my back hurts after every visit.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:17 a.m.

People are quick to blame the landlord. Odds are Seva has been under a long term lease with minimal multipliers. Thus, Seva has probably been paying well below market rent for quite awhile. Can't blame the landlord for charging what the market will bear.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

@spagett and would appear you have little knowledge about real estate. The market is the market. Did the landlord complain when they were paying less than market rates because of a lease agreement? How much would the higher rent eat into their profit margin of Seva? Without full knowledge of the particulars it is very difficult to point fingers. From both your comments it seems as if you expect landlords to get zero rate of return on their investment.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

Yes, we can blame the landlord for such an exorbitant increase. Greed is not good, and there are more important issues than just making more and more money, like making modest rent increases over time to keep long term tenants.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

I DO blame the landlord. Many around here are charging just short of criminal rent, for residential and retail alike.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

I love SEVA, and will follow them to their new place, and be able to go there more because of the parking issue!

Lynn Liston

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:55 a.m.

I am really happy they are moving out to the West Side- I love Seva, and will dine there more often now that they are closer, and have FREE PARKING. We have a quite a few good restaurants out this way- Quartre Bistro, Zingerman's Road House, Carlyle, Weber's, Knight's, Gourmet Garden- Seva will be a good addition to the mix of locally owned unique places to dine.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

I think this is a great location for them to move to. I will be more apt to stop and eat there and also do take out. It would be nice to have curbside pick up but probably impossible to do in with Westgate traffic, overall it would still be easier to park and pick up take out there than downtown. I think they will see a large increase in take out ordering because of the move. I'm really excited about being able to have the Enchiladas Calabaza and Sweet Potato fries more often than once every few years now. PS: Please consider getting fountain sodas. A lot of natural brands have that option available now for restaurants.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

Once again doesn't get the other side of the story from the VFW!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

What other side of the story does there need to be? This is NOT a story about the VFW. When you put an offer on a house and it is refused, should it be reported and dissected as to what the person who refused the offer has to say about it? NO. They want more money and MARKET rates for THEIR property. End of story. I wonder how you would feel when you go to sell or rent your property if you think you should sell it below market just to keep a FOR PROFIT business in the location

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

@Sarah: I have reached out to the VFW and haven't heard back yet.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Balanced journalism? In Ann Arbor? Unlikely.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

I have mixed feelings. I love the downtown location, but welcome a place with free parking. also, the booths are extremely uncomfortable for average height or short people -- glad they are getting rid of them! I'll probably eat at the new location more often.

David Paris

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

So downtown loses an icon, and in all likelihood Chaconas will strike a deal with Cracker Barrel, or Red Lobster... nice.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

Really? So let us all know the successful national sit down restaurant chains that have infiltrated downtown Ann Arbor? I know downtown is brimming with Olive Gardens, and Red Lobsters, and Macaroni Grills. The fact is, I can think of maybe two national/regional chains; The Melting Pot and Bar Louie. I guess you could call Main Street Ventures a chain, though I would say they are more a collection of restaurants owned by a LOCAL group. I guess if you want to lump Subway, Starbucks, and Jimmy Johns in the mix, you could, but hardly sit down restaurants.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Cracker Barrel, or Red Lobster? That's about as far out in left field as you can get.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.



Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

Excellent! Welcome to the West side...we are looking forward to dining at the new, closer (for us) location.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Eric, just one recommendation: more dairy-free dishes and non tex-mex inspired vegetarian.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

I like SEVA. Free parking makes it all the more interesting and easier to visit.

Paula Gardner

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

I'm happy to hear about this decision - my fear was that the restaurant would end up having to close with nowhere to go. Of any location on the west side, it seems like this center - which is home to some strong local independents - is a good fit for Seva.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

Great restaurant. I wish them well at their new location. The upside is definitely in the parking for customers. Anything to avoid doing business with the A2 Mafia (parking authority).

Chuck Saltpeter

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

One positive, this will eliminate the Sava or Seva "Who's on First?" routine.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

Just make sure it is clear to out of towners when they tell their cab drivers. I can see some vegetarians during Art Fair not ending up where they expected to be.

Ypsi Russell

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

The college kids will still think you meant "Sava's" when you said "say-VAH," and older folks will still assume the opposite when they hear "SAH-vuz". It'll just be a longer walk once they figger it out!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.



Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

My thoughts exactly! Haha


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

I wish Seva the best of luck, but I'm skeptical about the new location. Seva, in my experience, was one of those downtown Ann Arbor things to do. The menu hasn't changed much in the 15 years I've lived here and as much as I love vegetarian food, I've grown tired of the vegetarian fare that has so much cheese and other fat that you can hardly taste the vegetables. The west side is also dominated by inexpensive options so I question how Seva fits in here.


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

@LakeTrout I've actually lived on the West side for many years, so perhaps *you* shouldn't make comments about things/people you don't know about. As far as inexpensive options, I said that side of town is "dominated by," not exclusively inexpensive. I had in mind discount stores like Aldi, the numerous diners and Coney Islands, as well as endless fast food options.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

Maybe it will fit in for the vegetarian that occasionally enjoys a bit more cheese....there's a niche for everyone.

Lake Trout

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

Evidently you have not been to the west side - Zingerman's Roadhouse, Knights, Quarter Bistro - all high end, not so inexpensive options. Seva's is going to be a welcomed addtion to this area and another great place to eat. How about you visit the area some time instead of talking about something you obviously have no knowledge of.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

The Roadhouse is outrageously expensive for ordinary food, and Quarter don't see what the appeal is about their food. Yippee Seva!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

I actually think being a little more upscale on this side of town will be a big plus for them. We are bored with the cheap places and wish scio/west side would consider adding more restaurants such as this one.

Holly Richardson

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Really happy to welcome Seva to the west side! Can't wait to order Enchiladas Calabaza at the new location.

Chip Reed

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

Seva started in Columbus, OH. I'm glad they didn't have to move back there!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

I like the new location but hope they take the opportunity to update the menu a bit. Vegetarian is great, but they need some fresher items on the menu.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

@ Barb - I totally agree about Cafe Habana (their vegie plate was outstanding), but they totally abandoned their menu. I'm talking about keeping the favorites, but maybe adding some dishes that appeal to folks who want vegetarian fare that is lighter. I find the majority of their dishes much too heavy and greasy. Even the salad dressing is full of sugar.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

I still miss some of the dishes on the old menu ..


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:53 a.m.

I hope they don't take your advice... I love being able go there and get some old favorites along with options for newer stuff. I'd hate for me to do what Cafe Habana do when they moved.

Ben Freed

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

A friend of mine from Texas came into town last summer with her parents who went on their first date ever at Seva while they were at U-M for grad school. They were thrilled that it was still there and we all ate lunch there together. It's always sad to see a landmark go (and I'm particularly interested in what will happen to the comedy showcase) but at the same time it sounds like they're optimistic about the new location and the easier access it provides to non-downtown dwellers. It also intrigues me that Westgate is turning into a bit of a foodie hub with Zingerman's Roadhouse, Quarter Bistro, Old Siam, and now Seva all there in addition to the presence of Weber's just down the road one way and Gourmet Garden a couple blocks down on Stadium. What other areas in Ann Arbor could y'all see turning into foodie clusters?


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Ann Arborites love to dine out. You'd think the trend would eventually reverse but not in the near future, away.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Banfield's Westside Grill, too!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

Scio Township! In about a 1-mile radius from Jackson Rd. and Zeeb Rd. we have: Burger King, Wendy's, McDonalds, Arby's, Taco Bell, Subway, Quiznos, Domino's Pizza, Culver's... not to mention Panera Bread, Mancino's, Pizza Hut, Big Boy, Metzker's, and Grand Traverse Pie Company.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Apparently anywhere retail currently exists... the first to fall was Main Street. So Arborland better watch out, with Briarwood on its' heels. Who needs to buy anything? Sit in a restaurant and order it on your iPad, then ask yourself "why is it America is so obese?".


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

They have a nice farmer's market in the parking lot as well. Great local produce and friendly vendors.

Jeff Renner

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:40 a.m.

Only a block away, I meant, even if not actually in Westgate.

Jeff Renner

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

You left out Knight's!

Mark Lee

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:33 a.m.

Maple and Miller! Juicy kitchen, Antony's , coming soon a middle eastern market and deli - an empty building and an empty lot. The new Speedway has shown there's plenty of people moving through this intersection.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

You left out Star's Cafe, a very good middle eastern restaurant in Westgate.

Barbara Brown

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

There are quite a few of my favorite restaurants on the North East side of town many of them have been there for years - Northside Grill, Cafe Marie, Exotic Bakeries, Saica Japanese Restaurant, Ayse's Turkish Cafe, Cardamam Indian Restaurant, Curry Up - tons and tons of great options!

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

Good point, @mun: you'll have Cafe Zola, Pizzeria Biga, Elevation Burger. Arbor Hills will probably have one more restaurant, but the developers are still negotiating the deal.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

I live on Huron Parkway near Washtenaw. I see quite a few new restaurants opening in the Chalmers Place lot and the new retail center on Washtenaw across Whole Foods.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

An Arborigine

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9 p.m.

An AA icon forced out by too many "upscale dining experiences" paying upscale rent.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4 a.m.

Progress. It happens.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

Excellent! One of my fave restaurants evolves and grows, instead of perishing. Bye bye DDA district.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

I'm glad they are moving out of downtown AA. Too many pan handlers in the plaza and parking issues. We will frequent them more than previously once they open their new site. Good bye downtown! 50% increase in rent is highway robbery. Go figure!


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

Too bad they can't afford two locations so as to maintain their current site but parking downtown is a problem and only getting worse.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

FYI, there is also a "pan-handler" that frequents Westgate parking lot, but his M.O. is to approach you with some story. He changes them up though so it's not as obvious.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

Here is a humorous video of dining choices in a village a short drive away...

Boo Radley

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Great video .... I ended up watching all of them.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

They should look into making convertible indoor out door seating space in the new building. Not too tough to do, just need to redo the front windows and throw another wall, glass or some other material a few yards in. Heck they could repurpose the panes that are upfront right now.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

A 50% rent increase? Wow. Lizzy, did you contact the building owner(s) to ask what was the reason for such a large hike?

Thom in Ann Arbor

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

Greed, pure and simple. Another unique and interesting local business exits downtown to be replaced by some hideous chain or expensive place only the 1% can afford. Thanks a lot greedy landlords.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Lizzy, based on the quotes from that other article it sounds like the Jackson family was trying to be polite and professional, yet also conveying the severity of the rent increase. The "no bad guy here" is followed by "way, way, way up."

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

I haven't heard back from a representative with the VFW yet about the rent increase, but in case you guys didn't read the last story, here is what it says: Seva, along with the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, housed in the basement of the VFW Hall, have been operating on a month-to-month basis for close to a year, Jackson said. The businesses were unable to agree on the terms of a new lease with the VFW, which wanted to increase rent by more than 50 percent, Maren said. "No one's the bad guy here. They just wanted way, way, way more than we had been paying," Jackson said.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

And now with an empty building the parcel could become available for sale, to allow another high rise on the spot. The planning commission wants a high density downtown, you can't get that with 1 story buildings.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

The rent increase would appear high. However it is very likely they had a long term lease with minimal multipliers when it was negotiated. Times have changed the rent although significantly higher is more in line with the current market. Bottom line is for the last many years they had a great deal below market.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Greed - pure and simple. The are asking $10,500 a month.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Highway robbery, it is. The loss is Ann Arbor downtown. Our gain on this side of town.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

From what I understand, Seva was paying a very low rental rate for downtown standards. Maren talks about it a bit in this story -

Linda Peck

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

I think this is a very good choice. Westgate is a very popular spot. I will go there because I am at Westgate a lot and I like Seva's food, but not the present location, so I am happy about it. I wish them well.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

I'm a confirmed omnivore but I think restaurants like Seva add to the uniqueness and character of downtown A2. Good luck. Hmmm...not to far from the current Blimpy location...

Lets Get Real

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Blimpy can't afford those prices for space and keep their product affordable. Too bad, though

Robert Hughes

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

Billy, try reading the China Study for the real deal on what meat can do for you in regards cancer.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Their sweet potato fries have always been the best things I've ever had. I'm an omnivore too, but that doesn't mean I think meat needs to be in every dish. I DO think it should be part of a balanced diet though, because there are amino acids and certain proteins with anti-carcinogenic properties that you can ONLY find in red meat. Everything in moderation.