4E - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 3, 1997
Bagel shops locked.
in competition for
ars serve up
goo d times
By Will McCahill
Daily Staff Reporter
Okay, Ann Arbor doesn't have the same bar-town
ptation as some of its Big Ten brethren like East
1 Wnsing or Madison. But that's not to say one can't
find somewhere to be merry, eat, and particularly
ink, on any day of the week.
M Assuming one is 21, of course, or can make the
right people think so long enough to get in the
Whether you're in the mood to sit back, relax
and sip a tall cool one with friends, or party like
the rock star or professional athlete you came to
the University to become, the place for you is gen-
erally within an easy walk from your front door.
Lucky indeed, given the hassle parking can become
during the school year, not to mention the inadvis-
ability of driving while intoxicated.
For those on the doorstep of joining the 21-and-
'up club, there are several local establishments that
offer the best environment for celebrating your
coming of age. Without exception, these places
will have enough room for you and most of your
friends, and on most nights of the week will be
crowded enough for that random student to buy
you a shot.
Scorekeeper's, on Maynard Street, is one such
bar. Don't be deterred by its location next to a
fortress-like parking garage - there's plenty of
-fun to be had inside. Although Scorekeeper's, like
many large bars, has a cover charge, the average
undergrad will find plenty to like in its dimly lit,
barn-like innards. There are enough televisions to
accommodate sports fans of all stripes, and there
are distinct areas devoted to pool and darts.
,Scorekeeper's even has a dance floor, when the
groove moves you.
Another large, crowded, high-volume establish-
ment is Touchdown Cafe, on South University
Avenue. Touchdown is another haven for the
"sports-hungry, particularly fans of the Detroit-area
-professional squads. Among the other particulars
for which the bar is renowned are its chicken wings
and its Wednesday night dollar pitchers. Again, a
cover charge is likely, but, particularly on
_Wednesdays, it can seem like a bargain.
Mitch's Place, located above a coffee shop on the
corner of South University Avenue and South
,forest Avenue, is another likely place to celebrate
your big day, or any other day of the week. Mitch's
is often crowded enough to feel a little cramped,
but the cheap beer in big pitchers and the occa-
sional guest Michigan athlete behind the bar are
Rick's American Cafe, located on Church Street
near the corner of South University Avenue, is
another place for rowdy good times. Live music is
a huge part of the Rick's ambiance, as the bar
serves up a variety of college-town musical fare.
Cheap beer and an opportunity to shake your booty
are also major attractions of the downstairs estab-
lishment. The place often tends to resemble a frat
party with a cover charge.
But don't fret if you're looking for a more sedate
atmosphere. Although some of the more laid-back
taverns in Ann Arbor can be a bit of a hike, they
also tend to be worth the walk.
One place that needs little footwork to reach is
Ashley's, on State Street between William Street
and North University Avenue. The establishment's
motto is "Life is too short to drink cheap beer," and
that's something you're unlikely to find there.
Ashley's has a huge selection of beers on draft, and
dozens more in bottles.
And the beverages are not your average watered-
By Elizabeth Lucas
and Mary Trombley
Daily Staff Reporters
Picture an ordinary Ann Arbor morn-
ing. It's 8 a.m. and, for a change, the sun
is shining. You're standing on the corner
of State Street and North University
Avenue, planning to grab a bagel and
coffee before your first class.'
The scene isn't so ordinary, at least not
anymore. There are two enemy camps
facing this quiet street corner. The troops
have been mobilized since before 6 a.m.,
and they're preparing for another hard
day of battle.
The bagel wars have begun.
It's time to choose sides, and more is at
stake than your preference in bagels.
Your lifestyle is on the line. Will you join
the smug line of Bruegger's Bagels cus-
tomers, crowding out the door and
clutching enormous "Javahh!" mugs? Or
will you join the hip crowd at Einstein
Bros. Bagels, eating a sunflower-seed
bagel and listening to Smashing
It's all up to you.
This war, like any other, tends to draw
everyone in. Bagels are a staple food for
many busy University stu-
dents who enter the
war zone on a daily
basis, though they
may not realize the
import of their deci-
"(Bagels are) a great
way to get a light, low-fat
meal, or something quick to
eat, said LSA first-year student
But which bagel do you choose? There
are many allied nations in the bagel wars,
but only two superpowers.
Bruegger's and Einstein are Ann
Arbor's bagel giants, and their armed
conflicts have lasted for two years. The
shops occupy rival positions, Bruegger's
on North University Avenue and Einstein
on the heavily populated State Street.
Both are part of national corporate
chains, and both are battling for valuable
At first glance, there isn't much differ-
ence between the two stores. Both offer
standard fare -a variety of bagels,
drinks, cream cheeses, soups and sand-
wiches. The stores specialize in unusual
cream cheese flavors like cheddarpeno,
smoked salmon and honey walnut.
Einstein has the edge when it comes to
bagel flavors - it boasts 17 to
Bruegger's II - but it is a little on the
pricey side. A plain bagel with cream
cheese costs $1.59 at Einstein, compared
to $1.39 at Bruegger's. Einstein also
offers pre-made salads and the "bottom-
less cup" coffee refill. However,
Bruegger's offers more merchandise,
including sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats.
Though the differences between these
bagel stores seem mild to an outsider,
some students have definite preferences.
"I used to go to Einstein's, but I've
been going to Bruegger's lately"'said
LSA sophomore Yvonne Wai. "It's clos-
er and it's cheaper."
"I think they're just different," said
Cyn Epler, also an LSA sophomore.
"Bruegger's bagels are harder, and
Einstein's are softer and chewier. I'm
used to harder bagels."
Some people are called to even fiercer
partisan loyalty. For employees of the two
chains, the battle lines have been drawn.
"Einstein's has different bagels, but
we're always test marketing new pro*
ucts," said Bruegger's employee Andy
Good, a Toledo resident training at the
Ann Arbor Bruegger's.
Though the stores' ideologies and tac-
tis are similar, employees believe there
are differences between the two opposing
"Our bagels our better. They're big-
ger' said Einstein employee and LSA
sophomore Randy Howder. "And we
have loyal customers, and they agr
Howder did admit, however, that he
hasn't had an opportunity to compare the
two stores. "I've never really been in
(Bruegger's),' Howder said. "It doesn't
seem like the kind of place I really want
to set foot in."
The stores' decor is another point of
contention. Bruegger's strives for an
upscale look, featuring enormous win-
dows and two levels of seating. On t1
other hand, Einstein opts for a more
homey, earth-tone feel and a single
crowded seating area. Surreal figures
adorn the walls, including a rather
strange illustration of young children
holding floating bagels like balloons.
"We have the big tables for studying,
and the music"said Einstein
employee Tom Herrgott.
"This is more of a
sure - if you
ing in a war
' « ' ,zone.
there is an alternative.
Simply walk down to the relaxed neigh-
borhood of South University Avenue.
Down the street is a bagel store with
social conscience. The Bagel Factory isW
peace-loving hippie, a white dove soaring
over Ann Arbor's bagel battlefield.
The Bagel Factory opened in the
1960s and it has continued its bagel tra-
dition for about 30 years. Although it's a
slightly longer walk, it offers much the
same fare as Bruegger's and Einstein,
and at lower prices.
The Bagel Factory offers 12 bagel
flavors, along with experimenta
bagels. It sells sandwiches, chili at
drinks, as well as the ever-popuJar
Fragel - deep-fried rasin bagels
coated in cinnamon and sugar. All
this comes at a low price: a bagel with
cream cheese costs $1.15.
Unlike its chain-store competitors,
the Bagel Factory has roots in the
Ann Arbor community. The store
donates bagels to area high schools
and organizations, and it recent
took up a cause that's close toA
The Bagel Factory now sells T-shirts
depicting Shaky Jake, a well-known Ann
Arbor character, holding a bagel. "We
Bake for Jake" is the Bagel Factory's new
"He is a bum, but he's kind of an Ann
Arbor legend," said Bagel Factory
employee Carolyn Munger. "People who
went to school here come back and say,
'Jake's still around?"'
Munger said that when the store self
T-shirts, it keeps two-thirds of the shirts'
profits and gives Jake one-third.
These are some factions fightingthe
bagel wars. All of them struggle to sur-
vive, and fortunes are sure to be won and
lost in the coming years.
SNRE student Chrissy McPherson shoots for the 8-ball In a game of pool at the Eightball Saloon on First Street.
Ann Arbor's bars vary widely in their atmosphere, offering and clientele.
down macrobrews, either. You could be labeled a
connoisseur if you've even heard of half the beers
there. If it weren't for the knowledgeable waitstaff,
who sometimes seem to have spent valuable
classtime learning the nuances of Ashley's menu
instead. No cover here, but the beer prices tend to
make up for it.
The Main Street area offers a large number of
quieter drinking establishments, although the
crowds there are slightly older and better-heeled
than the average University drinker.
On Main Street itself are the Full Moon, the
One-Eyed Moose, and the Heidelberg, all fairly
small and possessed of more atmosphere than bars
closer to campus. On the main drag are Del Rio
and the Old Town Tavern, a pair of enticingly cozy
For the two or three days in September when it's,
warm enough to enjoy adult beverages outdoors,
it's well advised to stop by Good Time Charley's
(on the corner of Souti. University Avenue and
Church Street) or Dominick's (on Monroe Street).
Charley's is open year-round, but its streetfront
outdoor section is only open when the weather's
good. Anytime is a good time to enjoy the bar's
tasty mixed drinks and some of its equally tasty
chow (don't miss the Count Twists). But then
again, everything is a little better when people-
watching out on the busy streetcorner.
If you can't find a spot at Charley's, good luck
finding one at Dominick's, which seems to attract
as many people at the first hint of warmth.
Although its hours are rather unusual -- it closes
at 10 p.m. - there's no beating sipping sangria or
some other alcoholic concoction out on the front
deck, while taking in the architectural beauty of
the Law Quad. Skipping that noon class on a warm
day will likely get you a spot; in any case, arrive
Getting 'adjusted to a large entity like the
University is often a case of finding one's niche,
and this is just as true for the Ann Arbor bar scene
as it is for academics and social life. Finding a
niche in the bar scene, however, can certainly be
most enjoyable task.
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Continued from Page 1E
would find on college campuses in
the 1960s. I don't think you will find
any truly liberal places in this country
Sheldon said Ann Arbor offers stu-
dents and residents both a taste of
small-town Midwestern values cou-
pled alongside the University and
"It's the best
of all worlds -
you have all of It has
the comforts of
a major city, non-Mjdi
but in the next
moment you identity
can sit back and
breathe and not
have the pres-
sures that you
have in other
cities around the country," Sheldon
said. "Here, life is a little slower, and
we place a high value on open spaces,
life outdoors and free time."
Gretchen Farah, owner of
Newcomers Welcome Service, a wel-
coming service that visits roughly
coffee houses, bagel shops, and intel-
lectual professor-types make Ann
Arbor distinct in the predominantly
plainspoken culture of the Midwest.
"It is not Midwestern," said LSA
sophomore Joe Vanek, who hails from
Kalamazoo. "It has its own non-
Midwestern identity that is the
University and its students - that's
the reason you have things like Art
Fair instead of block parades."
Russ Owell, a local middle-school
two years of life
its own in Ann Arbor
have taught him
restern that this is a
m o s t
- Joe Vanek towns.
LSA sophomore "It's definite-
ly more socially
liberal than the
rest of the Midwest," Owell said.
"The diversity here, and acceptance
of new ideas make Ann Arbor a very
unique place. And it is the University
that provides that sprit and energy to
the rest of the community."
While rifling through a shelf of
,.., t ;.