You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

New line of T-shirts recalls bygone Ann Arbor icons

By Bob Needham

Even some newcomers to Ann Arbor have probably heard the names: Drake's Sandwich Shop. The Del Rio bar. The Pretzel Bell restaurant.

Those iconic businesses from Ann Arbor's past—along with Mr. Flood's Party, Bicycle Jim's and the 1972-era Blind Pig—have been memorialized in a new line of T-shirts.

The shirts came about thanks to an association between Tim Redmond, a longtime local resident, and Markham McGill of Key West-based company Long Lost T's. Redmond—the organic food pioneer and entrepreneur who helped found Eden Foods and now co-owns Eat Local Eat Natural—worked with McGill at Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Co.

After McGill relocated to Florida and started a line of T-shirts memorializing bygone locales in various cities around the country, his background and his friendship with Redmond meant an Ann Arbor-themed line was only natural.

"There's some great old places here in Ann Arbor," said Redmond, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1970. "We probably had 15 or 20 places on the list" of possible subjects.

They narrowed the list down to six initial designs, but "We can broaden that out if we want to, and we probably will," Redmond said.

“Tim and I worked long and hard on what places to include from Ann Arbor’s past. There are so many beloved old Ann Arbor haunts, and Tim seemed to know them all. The tees are very high quality, 100 percent lightweight cotton, screen-printed by hand using water-based inks. We’re really proud of them and feel like they do justice to the places,” McGill said in a press release announcing the new line.

The first batch of shirts will go on sale this week, exclusively at Bivouac on State Street, a longtime locally owned independent business. They will be available in both men's and women's styles and in various colors.

Redmond said they will probably retail for around $30. Each shirt comes with a card explaining some background on the place it memorializes.

When pressed, Redmond says of the initial six places, his favorite might be the Del Rio, the legendary townie bar on West Washington in the space that now houses Grizzly Peak's Den. But "I have memories from all those," he added.

See all the designs on the Long Lost T's website.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.



Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Many of those designs were made by Crow Quill graphics. That was the 1970's site of the old Sears battery center on Liberty and Ashley. Zeke and John did much of the artwork. Elmos sells Mr. Flood's shirts and has the artwork for quite a few others.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Thanos Lamplighter State Discount Steve's Ice Cream


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

How about Bimbo's?


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Must have - Bimbos. Make them smell like pizza and peanuts.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

Pretzel Bell and Village Bell bring back the memories. They were near the end of the line probably when I went there in the latter 70's. Good times! And how about Bimbo's? Even Victorian-era songs sound great when you've had enough beer and pizza. Also, I remember going on several dates with my future wife at Bicycle Jim's. I'll definitely have to check out their website.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

How about Sweet Loraine's or The Red Bull or Gypsy Cafe?

Real Life

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

Real townies will remember Everett's and the Stadium Tavern (be sure to say "hi!" to Doc). I'm upset Zanzibar closed, myself. I'm thinking about one T-shirt with all the businesses where PJ's (or whatever it's called) is now. Starting with the Rubaiyat. And why can't ANYONE make vinegar based cole slaw like the Whiffletree?


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Yes, the Stadium Tavern!


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

It actually started as a Saab dealership. Remember the two stroke, ding da ding, ding, ding, sound from the 50's and 60's Saab cars.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

The U as in University Drive-in and then I might spring for $32.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

I thought the XXX theatre was Scio theatre..? But either or on a T-Shirt would be fine.

Dog Guy

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Yes, djacks24, University Drive-in is memorable even for many who never snuggled up in a car there. Evening traffic exiting westbound I-94 to US-23 northbound swerved when confronted mid-ramp with XXX scenes on that big screen.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

For those not familiar;


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

The Beer Depot, and there was another beer drive in next to Delongs though can't think of it now.


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Beer Vault


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

I really miss Farrells and the Whiffle Tree. We keep talking bout opening a Farrells. What about Kresge?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

The Flame, The Rubiyat,


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 4 p.m.

The Blind Pig is still open. I wonder how they feel about this.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

How about one showing somebody walking down the street alone after dark? Definitely can't do that in Ann Arbor these days.

the artist

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Great Idea Tim, too bad you didn't hook up with Adrian T Shirts or Elmo on Main Street to keep it really local and less than $30 bucks. Love the Del Rio!


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

What are the 6 designs available? GREAT idea! I'll buy some Drakes shirts (not all at once tho $$!!). How about Delongs?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.



Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

ooohhhh. I see the link the the designs now. sorry. Still want Drakes best of all!


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

They should screenprint a stick figure at a crosswalk looking towards traffic, with the caption "Ann Arbor pedestrians able to cross a street without relying on taxpayer-funded strobe lights". Ah, the good old days. Maybe 10 percent of profits could go toward the installation of more HAWK systems!


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

If you can make a One-Eyed Moose shirt, put me down for one, size large.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

I thought no one would remember this wonderful pinball alley!


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Love the Del Rio shirt...I still remember their wet burritos. As for desired shirts, how about The Old German or The Ann Arbor News?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Ypsilanti Press, Eastern Michigan Hurons, Red Hot Lovers

Tom Wilkinson

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Clint's Club? PJ's? Miller's Ice Cream?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.


Boo Radley

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

Great idea Now ... who wants to buy my original Stadium Tavern team jacket ...

Dog Guy

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

They don't make nostalgia like they used to.

Matt Lang

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

i hope they make Primo Showbar and Joe's Star Lounge t-shirts


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

$30 for a T-shirt? Not for me. Maybe the tourists will buy them to go with their $18 Zingerman's sandwich!

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Thanks, Peter, for the wonderful lesson in the obvious. Still overpriced.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Everything cost more in Ann Arbor (A2 yuppie tax) so why wouldn't a T-shirt about Ann Arbor be any different?

Peter Baker

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

"I just priced an order at Underground Printing for $8 per shirt, including printing. Nice profit margin." Get the art together, make a website, promote the product, give the credit cards their cut, get them packaged and shipped and pay the taxes on the profits and THEN make your assumptive comment on how business works.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

I agree $30 feels like a lot for a tee-shirt. However, when one does their homework and digs into the background of anything we buy (where it came from, who, how, and why...), it becomes painfully obvious why there's such a price difference.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Good point, zags. I just priced an order at Underground Printing for $8 per shirt, including printing. Nice profit margin. I've never spent $30 on a t-shirt and never will. No chance.

Markham McGill

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

Just wanted to reply to the cost issue. Basically, it's a question of the quality of our Ts versus the cheapo Ts that you find everywhere. We use American-made blanks of a higher thread count and better dyes. Add to that our labor costs (again, here in the US) and, well, you get what you pay for. We guarantee the higher price is well worth it (as with most things). Thanks. -Markham


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

For got Bimbo's. Back in the 70's


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

Bimbo's...AWESOME! I had a few birthday parties there back in the day...and not the crappy Bimbo's on the Hill....the good one on Fourth Ave! That's a shirt I'd spend $30 on for sure!

Markham McGill

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Hey Breadman. We do, in fact, have a Bimbo's in the mix. We will probably be reissuing that one next. Stay tuned for sure. Thanks! -Markham


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Oh man the memories!! We used to stuff peanut shells in the hand dryer of the restroom. Then turn it on when someone came in. Darn kids! Bimbos was the only place I've ever seen where it was customary to throw peanut shells on the floor.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

I miss the Del Rio even now.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

How about a Borders t-shirt.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

You'll have to talk to Barnes & Noble. They bought all of Borders intellectual property and have complete control of the Borders brand now - which they have effectively snuffed out.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

I still have about 10 different Borders shirts from working at corporate for more than 10 years!


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

What!!! No Hash Bash?????

Chip Reed

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

It is still here.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

Don't forget Schlenker's hardware.

Andrea Zastrow

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

I still have one of those, with the crossed plungers on the front. Good times!

Catholic Social Services

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:18 a.m.

I spent many an hour at Bicycle Jim's and Mr. Flood's Party back in the 70's. I definitely will be buying one of these shirts!

Mike D.

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.

Just because these businesses are closed doesn't mean their names aren't still trademarked. I wonder if Mr. Redmond received approval to use the names and logos. I know of a very real case of need related to the descendents of one of the establishments listed above.

Robert Hughes

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

The Blind Pig is still in operation, isn't it? I hope you did your research on that joint.

Robert Hughes

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

You could charge an extra dollar a t-shirt and give it to the old owners or their heirs.

Markham McGill

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Hey Guys We take every step necessary to make sure we are not in violation of any active, or live, copyrights or trademarks. We're definitely a small operation, not some huge brand, and our goal is always to bring back old spots that are long-gone and have a great story. It's not our intention to cause any harm me, we ain't getting rich here. It's more of a labor of love than anything else. I appreciate your input. -Markham


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

When you stop commercially using a trademark, you abandon your rights in it. If they went out of business and took no action to continue to use the trademarks over a significant period of time, they are abandoned.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

good point. Hopefully they did their legal homework.

Chip Reed

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

How about an Ann Arbor News shirt?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

...Or "continuous"... not sure if I meant to write "contiguous" or not. I'm such a good teacher.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

They're still my longest source of contiguous employment in my life. Soon to be surpassed by the school district I teach in, but considering how long I've been teaching, it's pretty remarkable to me how long I was a paper boy. Ahhh, the good old days...


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Would that be the Ann Arbor Snooze? That's what I used to call it.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

A while back, Found (in Kerrytown) sold purses made from copies of the Ann Arbor News. Very cool!

Linda Peck

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 10:23 a.m.

Nice, we need new old tee shirts!