Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Buy Local in Ann Arbor: West Stadium Boulevard

5. December 2007 • Juliew
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Although West Stadium Boulevard might look like a standard suburban fast-food strip at first glance, it is actually a vibrant, walkable area with a lot of long-time locally-owned shops. Street and sidewalk improvements have made the past few years tough on the area, but construction is now done so stop by and check out the following local businesses.

Nicola’s Books in the Westgate Shopping Center is ready for the holidays with lots of suggestions for everyone on your gift list. Donate a book for a local child in need and you get %10 off your total bill. A few steps away, Mast Shoes has been family-owned since 1942! At Mast, you can find comfortable shoes and cool hand bags thanks to the second(third?) generation employee Molly Mast.

A&L Wine Castle has a great selection of wine, alcohol, and cigars. They have great deals on champagne and other sparklers for the holidays. They also have a good selection of Michigan wines. If you are looking for something you can’t get anywhere else, check out A&L. Need a nice ring to go with your champagne? Check out Diane Rose Jewelers or Lewis Jewelers just a few blocks down.

West Stadium is home to two great hardware and home stores. Stadium Hardware is the best general hardware store in town. Plus they are so nice and will give you the best advice on any project, even if they have to talk you out of buying something. They have everything you need for that vacation project or the do-it-yourselfer in the family. Ace Barnes Hardware is an independently-owned home and hardware store with all the holiday lights, Christmas trees, kitchen gadgets, and other useful stuff you might need. Great for useful little gifts.

Next door to Ace is Arbor Farms Market. Arbor Farms has been in Ann Arbor since 1979. They focus on natural foods and have a lot of local products on their shelves (like Calder Milk and Michigan beef). They will be showcasing local wines and food during Buy Local Week. Barely a bike ride away from Ace and Arbor Farms is Great Lakes Cycling & Fitness. They even have a nifty gift list on their website.

Big George’s calls themselves “the Biggest Little Superstore” and has been locally family-owned since 1959! We used to compare prices with the big-box stores, but don’t even bother anymore because Big George’s always won on price and service. From film supplies to high-end appliances, they really are a big little superstore. Check out their new store with, yes, the only commercial green-roof in town.

No need to go hungry on West Stadium during your shopping trip. Here are just a few of the eating options on West Stadium: Dimos Deli and Donuts has yummy donuts of all sorts; Sze-chuan West has their wild cave dining room; Zingerman’s Roadhouse isn’t the Deli, but some people like it; and Knights is the place in town to go for great steak and strong drinks.

  1. There’s also Holiday’s, which is a diner-type restaurant. I really like it—real “down home” kind of stuff. And, if you get a waitress named Kris, tip her well! She is my friend :)
    Good list, Juliew!

       —TeacherPatti    Dec. 5 '07 - 06:59AM    #
  2. This article forgot to mention at least one GREAT, LOCAL resource on West Stadium…STADIUM PHARMACY! Proprietor Xavier will know you by
    name and remind you of pharmacists of a bygone era! If you can’t stand ‘CVS’ or RiteAid, you’ll be happy once you switch to Stadium Pharmacy.
    Let’s keep an old fashioned, small, locally owned pharmacy in business! I chanced upon this place a few years ago when I moved back to town,
    and I feel so lucky…I actually enjoy going in to get my Rx. I’m greeted with a smile, there is never a wait, and I’m in and out in a flash. Stadium Pharmacy is at 734.913.4752 or 1930 W. Stadium Blvd.

       —SF    Dec. 6 '07 - 02:03AM    #
  3. Speaking of pharmacies over there, and for many of the same reasons that SF recommends Stadium Pharmacy, I’d like to put in a plug for the Village Pharmacy II on Maple in the K-Mart strip mall. They’re super nice folks, they’re quick, and they’re always happy to call my Dr. to request more refills on my meds when I run out (which is nice because I hate to call Dr. and explain why I need even MORE lithium and viagra). Plus there’s an archery store next door with an indoor range, so you can practice your bow and arrow skills while you wait.

    And if that’s not enough, one of the pharmacists is a babe.

       —Parking Structure Dude!    Dec. 6 '07 - 03:11AM    #
  4. I’d also like to mention Bell’s Diner and Izzy’s Hoagie Shop in the eatery category…they don’t have great hours and I haven’t been to either recently, but I do recall both being fine. (Hello Faz Pizza probably doesn’t need a mention here, but it is also in the area and remains delicious…Barry Bagels of course is also next to Nicola’s, as is Old Siam/Siam Kitchen.)

    Should also probably mention Diane Rose Jewelry (just north of the Wine Castle) and Dragon’s Lair Futon (at the corner of Stadium & Liberty), as well as Fresh Seasons Market, which also sells produce and outdoor items IIRC and is often overlooked. (They’re just west of Dragon’s Lair and Hello Faz…) And don’t forget to support your local tailor when possible, at Minsky’s…

       —Young Urban Amateur    Dec. 6 '07 - 06:08AM    #
  5. Another indie pharmacy is Wenk’s, on Stadium, just past the Wash./Stadium split. I really like them!
    And thanks, YUA, for mentioning Minsky’s…I do need some tailoring done, and that reminded me to get off my duff and get to Minsky’s. :)

       —TeacherPatti    Dec. 6 '07 - 06:29AM    #
  6. Ted Leo is my indie pharmacist.

       —Brandon    Dec. 6 '07 - 07:11AM    #
  7. I need to get a Christmas tree today, but last week the usual lot across from Arbor Farms had not yet set up. Anybody know if they’re there yet? Or of any place to get a tree on the west side of town? Thanks.

       —HD    Dec. 7 '07 - 07:17PM    #
  8. HD, trot on down to Downtown Home and Gardens, they have them.

       —Juliew    Dec. 8 '07 - 12:48AM    #
  9. Juliew, thanks. I’ll do it. I mean, I’ll go … but I’m not gonna trot.

       —HD    Dec. 8 '07 - 12:56AM    #
  10. Mast Shoes deserves some sort of triple shout-out because they’re more than just a comfortable shoe outlet. they are one of the most cost-effective health care providers in the county! pretty much every doctor I’ve ever met in AA who hears about any sort of back or knee pain will tell you immediately “go to Mast Shoes.”

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 21 '07 - 07:25PM    #
  11. Stadium Hardware is the sort of a place where you bring in a screw or a bolt and they can get another one just like it.

    They have a metal shop and will gladly cut long lengths of gutter to short ones for you, so that you don’t have to buy a hacksaw too.

       —Edward Vielmetti    Dec. 23 '07 - 10:09AM    #
  12. Tienda La Libertad / Liberty Market, located on West Liberty next to Hello Faz Pizza, has Latino grocery items, phone cards, pinatas, Spanish language CDs and DVDs, and more. It’s the place to go if you’re craving something from south of the border!

       —Beth    Nov. 21 '08 - 09:04PM    #
  13. with Holiday’s, Stadium Pharmacy, Bell’s Diner and Izzy’s Hoagie Shop, Stadium Hardware , Old Siam/Siam Kitchen, Ace, Arbor Farms Market, Sze-chuan West, and several banks … et al., west stadium is almost a free-standing town of its own, imo.

       —toasty    Nov. 27 '08 - 02:07PM    #
  14. There are local businesses, but there’s no sense of local community or place. I support several of the local shops there, but the streetscape still feels homogeneous, even if the businesses are local and unique.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Dec. 4 '08 - 08:19PM    #
  15. I agree with toasty’s comment that West Stadium is “almost a free-standing town of its own.” We moved to the West side near Pauline and Stadium last year and I have been stunned by the way the rest of the city has disappeared from our regular travels. When we were near Pattengill, we went all over the city, North, South, East, West. Now it’s 95% the Stadium strip.

    Chuck, I agree with you that the streetscape is not very attractive and could use a lot of beautification and a unifying sense of place, but I’m not sure what you’re implying: should W. Stadium not be regarded as a community for that reason, or should we be trying to improve urban design in this part of town, or what? Alas, I don’t think we have much freedom of action in that direction with the current generation of strip malls.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 9 '08 - 07:14PM    #
  16. I guess I’m thinking semantics. What is a community? Is it the built environment, the human environment, the business environment, the natural environment?

    Or some mix of all four, and then some?

    West Stadium has a great mix of businesses, but I don’t get a sense of human community, sense of place, or environmental community, so that’s why it doesn’t feel like a community to me, not even when I run into friends and neighbors at Arbor Farms.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Dec. 9 '08 - 07:50PM    #
  17. Well, I guess my reaction is communities are endangered and fragile enough in the modern world, let’s not make the bar too high, and let’s not define neighborhoods out of community status unless we have to.

    If your goal is to increase the degree of community in modern society, is there really any benefit to saying “West Stadium is a neighborhood of well situated businesses, but not a real community”?

    On your four part scale, I would agree that sense of place is lacking, strip malls aren’t very exciting—but we can’t all be located on beautiful winding riverbanks or on top of hills!

    As for environmental community, well, one sardonic comment that comes to mind is that we are all in the Gelman/Pall watershed …

    And as for human community, I don’t know, I think it depends … I see the same Eberwhite parents, Kroger employees, Barry Bagel’s servers all the time… I feel some sense of connectedness in a community with them.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 9 '08 - 08:03PM    #