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Ann Arbor 200

Weber's

Year
2024

Since 1937, three generations of the Weber family have maintained a series of independently owned restaurants and hotels in the greater Ann Arbor area. 

Hi-Speed Inn & Oak Grove Tavern

Herman Weber grew up in Chelsea where his family farmed and raised chickens. He got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at family-owned German restaurant Metzger's after selling them some of his family's poultry. At the age of 23, Herman and his brother, Rheinhold, started the Hi-Speed Inn, a cozy space at 3060 Washtenaw Ave could seat 40. The diner-style restaurant was linked with an Abbott Gasoline Company Station. The brothers put in long hours, operating from 7AM to 2AM. Customers could order a hamburger for 15 cents and a 12 ounce beer for 10 cents. Within a year the quality of food and inclusion of imported Lowenbrau beer had brought steady business. 

An empty restaurant full of rectangular tables dressed with white table cloths and folded napkins, leather chairs are seated around it.. The floor is linoleum in a checkered pattern. Sputnik-style chandeliers line the ceiling.
Weber's Supper Club, Interior Dining Area, June 1956

Their popularity in a mostly residential area led to an increase in traffic that was not appreciated by the neighbors. Pittsfield Township chose not to renew their beer license. The brothers remained devoted to owning their own business and pivoted to renting the turn-of-the-century Oak Grove Tavern on Jackson Rd (then US-12). They invested in renovations and kitchen updates, but within a year the building’s owner decided to sell to another restaurateur. 

Weber's Supper Club & Holiday House

After their experiences with fickle landlords, the brothers set out to purchase land of their own. They bought an acre and constructed a simple cinderblock building at 3715 Jackson Rd, located on the busy US-12 just like the tavern was. Weber's Supper Club opened in the winter of 1939-1940, but only a few months later in March of 1940 Rheinhold was drafted into the military. While he was away he married and the couple made the choice to live near his wife’s native West Coast. Herman bought out his brother's stake in 1947 and became the sole owner. 

Seven years later he found a business and life partner when he married Sonja Roth in 1954. Her taste became an integral part of Weber's, where she helped select menu options, decor and furnishings, and to supervise staff. In addition to the restaurant, the couple opened a simple seven-room motel next door named Weber’s Holiday House. 

Front cover for a 1963 Weber's menu featuring a coat of arms style logo with a W at the center and a large drawing of a beer stein. The background color is peach. Text toward the bottom left of the page reads, "Weber's Ann Arbor, Michigan"
Weber's Menu, 1963
A group of four adult men & women sit around a table with umbrella looking out on an indoor kidney shaped pool. On their right is a man and woman in lounge chairs. The back wall is made entirely of windows. Plants hang from the ceiling, which is made of wood with skylights.
Indoor Pool, Weber's Inn, May 1974

Weber's

In the latter half of the decade construction of I-94 was completed. Travelers driving from one city to another no longer used US-12 and Weber’s business suffered as a result. Around this time the city of Ann Arbor also began to offer licenses to restaurants to sell liquor by the glass. The Weber's campaigned for Scio Township to allow the same, but the request was denied. Once again, they resolved to move. In 1963 the new Weber's opened near I-94’s exit 72, where it still stands today. The successful restaurant was joined by Weber’s Motor Inn (later Weber's Inn) in 1969. Both were designed by famed Ann Arbor architect James H. Livingston. The Inn set itself apart with a fully enclosed, atrium style pool and recreation area accessed by guests with a spiral staircase.

The next generation eventually took over operations, with son Ken becoming the president in 1978 and daughter Linda handling marketing and sales. The business expanded with a new wing 1986 and continual upgrades since. Weber's is still family-owned and independent from any corporate chain. Ken's sons Michael and Brian continue the family legacy by overseeing operations. 

Learn More

Weber's Collection

AADL Talks To: Ken Weber

AADL Talk To: Michael Weber

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Ann Arbor 200 release #70
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Ann Arbor 200