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Sugar Bowl Restaurant, 109 South Main Street, 1927

Sugar Bowl Restaurant, 109 South Main Street, 1927 image

When the Sugar Bowl opened in 1911, it featured homemade ice cream and handdipped chocolates made in the Preketes family apartment upstairs. After Michigan went "dry" in 1918, lunch counters and small restaurants like this, many owned by Greek immigrants, became a major feature downtown. In early Ann Arbor, you could have dined out at one of Ann Arbor's hotels. By 1860 catered banquets and special celebrations were held at halls such as Hangsterfer's, which stood on the corner behind you. In 1868 you might choose among twenty-eight saloons for a quick meal. Grocery stores often had a small saloon to accommodate thirsty customers. Five locally owned German breweries supplied beer. Boarding houses near campus served students and single diners. In 1967 the Sugar Bowl closed, replaced by the upscale La Seine restaurant. Although shortlived, it was the first of many restaurants that transformed Ann Arbor into a regional dining center.

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