Still Dishing Up, Decades Later

Read time: 4 minutes

In a previous life, the building that houses Scorekeepers on Maynard Street used to be a . . . funeral home? That’s right–in 1891, Dolph’s Funeral Home was situated at that location. In the 1970s, it became Dooley’s, a jock-filled bar serving great pizza where Madonna once worked as a waitress. The new paperback “Iconic Restaurants of Ann Arbor,” co-authored by Gail Offen, ’78, dishes up trivia on your favorite dining spots. Get a sneak preview of the book, bound to be a favorite of Ann Arbor foodies, complete with photos and excerpts.


Since 1960, this charming hangout started by Dominick DeVarti comes to life the Monday after U-M’s spring break and closes after the last home football game. Many a student has spent long sunny afternoons sipping homemade sangria or beer from a mason jar—before mason jars were trendy. Upstairs is a hidden gem:original 1879 etched glass rescued from the Capitol Building Dome in Lansing during renovations.

Fleetwood Diner

The Fleetwood is still there serving hippie hash (hash browns covered in vegetables and topped with feta). It has had several owners and several closings, but at this time it thrives, as current owners have added Greek food to the burgers, sandwiches, and the two greatest words in the English language, “breakfast anytime.” It began as the Dag-wood Diner, named for the Toledo company that made the building kit it was first constructed with in 1949.


Say what? Since the dawn of sprouts, Seva has been serving up creative vegetarian food. (Initially), housed in a former VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) post on Liberty Street … the black bean and sweet potato quesadillas have been a menu favorite for almost 40 years. Since 2014, Seva has been located on the west side of town. Seva’s was formerly the Soybean Cellars restaurant and natural foods.


Blimpy Burger

Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger has a particular set of rules for ordering. These involve when to order patties, fryer food, and condiments, among others. That is all part of the charm. Get it right and get one of the juiciest burgers in town. Opened in 1953 … nestled among dorms on South Division Street … its current location is on Ashley Street.

The Pretzel Bell

Going to the P-Bell was an Ann Arbor rite of passage. Opened in 1934, it was the place to go to celebrate a Michigan victory—bells ringing, beers raised and a deafening din …. In 1984, the Pretzel Bell went dark, and the party was over. This past year, however, a new iteration of the P-Bell opened on Liberty and Main Street.

The Brown Jug

The Jug. One of the oldest college sports rivalries led to a traveling trophy. And that led to a restaurant. The Brown Jug has been on South University Avenue since 1963. U-M memorabilia lines the walls, to the delight of students, alumni, and fans. Pizza is a favorite….(and) where else can folks get a Charles Woodson stacked ham sandwich?

Old Town Back In The Day

Old Town

There is good bar karma when a place has been serving guests since 1898. Early on, the bar opened at 6:00 a.m. for third-shift factory workers. Now all walks of west siders come to hear music and eat burgers and gourmet grilled cheese.

“Iconic Restaurants of Ann Arbor,” $22.95 is available at

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