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Newcomers on the restaurant scene

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Newcomers on the restaurant scene

By Catherine Arcure


More so than in many communities, the restaurant scene in Ann Arbor is always in a state of flux. What was once the Blue Frogge becomes Don Cisco’s becomes Rick’s Cafe. What was once Bimbo's on the Hill becomes Cafe Dubrovnik.

New efforts are constant by restaurateurs to present area diners with places that please. In the last few months, the list has grown considerably. Here’s a sampling:

ANNIE'S DUGOUT - Across from Veterans Park on Dexter Road near Maple.  Owned by the Conlin brothers, this restaurant features hamburgers, sandwiches, broiled cheese and fish dishes, pizza, beer, wine and cocktails. Open for lunch as well as for the baseball crowd that gathers from across the street from 6 o'clock every night, this restaurant, housed in a Hobbs and Black renovation, is geared for the casual crowd. You'll find booths, open tables, pinball machines and people who are up for a good time.

BAUERSTUBE on Main Street in Manchester lets you sit with a view of the river while you enjoy German-American and other continental dishes.  Annette and Dieter Kringe have planned this restaurant carefully and already have developed a group of enthusiastic supporters for the kind of food they prepare.  Now, when you venture into the pleasant little city of Manchester, you can enjoy not only the dining and theatrics presented by Black Sheep but of this new restaurant.

CAFE CREOLE on Catherine Street is Cajun and Creole, mid-Louisiana style foods with both lunch and dinner offerings plus a Sunday brunch featuring the clarinet jazz of Morris Lawrence when he's in town.  The Bananas Foster prepared at your table is a delight here - worth a trip some evening when you're looking for tasty dessert and coffee out.

CAFE DUBROVNIK is the makeover of Bimbo's on the Hill on Washtenaw, but with new decor and menu features.  What you'll find getting attention here is fresh and ocean fish prepared in a variety of ways.

THE COUNT OF ANTIPASTO at 1140 S. University St., is lush with plants and an interesting wide-windowed view for people watching on campus.  The fare is pizza, sandwiches and salads or just a pleasant glass of wine for whiling away a lunch or dinner hour away from home.

FORBIDDEN CITY, 3535 Plymouth Road, gives, an Oriental flair to what many remember as the Bolgos Restaurant. The dishes are varied here with the emphasis on Mandarin- and Peking-style dishes rather than the typical Cantonese style cornstarch sauce dishes which many restaurants now pass off as Chinese cuisine. Fare here also includes cocktails, which are available from lunch time on at this relatively new addition to the Ann Arbor restaurant scene.

IAN’S PATISSERIE on South Main Street next to Complete Cuisine is the delight of everyone who enjoys the best of desserts. Buttery croissants and breads are what lan is a master at. Open from early morning until 1 a.m.

THE MAGIC PAN is Briarwood’s newest restaurant offering. Crepes of all styles abound here served by pleasant waitresses garbed in Tyrolian outfits. You'll find main-dish crepes made with chicken, crab, vegetables and desserts featuring the crepes with sweet sauces. Good soups, salads and a wine list also are a part of the offerings.

RICK'S CAFE at 611 Church St. is the newest of the Ann Arbor restaurants. Owned and run by five folks from Denver who've completely renovated what was once the Blue Frogge and then Don Cisco’s, this restaurant features a menu of hot and cold soups, sandwiches, salads as well as other entrees. A large island bar-believed to be one of the biggest in town- is a part of the new decor of Rick’s Cafe which the owners anticipate will introduce Ann Arbor to good “Western and Denver style" wining and dining. Open lunch through late evening every day except Sunday. Then only dinner on.

TIVOLI in Kerrytown under Kitchen Port and behind the Yarn shop has a delightful menu of omelettes and quiches, soups and salads, espresso coffees and rich pastries to tempt you.

More changes are in the making, A Japanese restaurant is scheduled to open in October atop the Ann Arbor Inn. Several others are in the planning and construction process near Briarwood.


Patricia Klinger, above, carries a plate of pastries into the dining room of Bauerstube, Manchester’s latest addition that specializes in German-American dishes. At left, the team troops into Annie's Dugout, appropriately located across the street from Ann Arbor's Vet's Park.