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Hash Bash brings business boom to Ann Arbor restaurants around the Diag

Expect lengthy lines at some of your favorite downtown eateries

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Every Hash Bash hundreds of people swarm the Diag and downtown Ann Arbor to celebrate the cannabis industry. With the people of Michigan having legalized recreational and medical use of cannabis this past November, even more people are expected to participate in the day-long event.

But larger crowds means a larger demand on the restaurants in the downtown area, especially around the Diag.

With stories circulating about restaurants selling out of food every Hash Bash, we asked restaurateurs and business owners close to the Diag what they anticipate and how they prepare for hoards of hungry Hash Bash goers.

According to a general manager at Hunter House Hamburgers, it’s one of the busiest days for the mom-and-pop hamburger joint. By noon or 1 p.m., the small diner usually has a line out of the door so they have to make sure to have extra staff on hand to keep up with orders.

Read: Road closures to know about ahead of this busy weekend in Ann Arbor

In speaking with Jim Seta, owner of Michigan Creamery, we learned that for those in the ice cream and cold treats business, Hash Bash can be hit or miss, depending on the weather.

Photo | Meredith Bruckner
Photo | Meredith Bruckner

We asked Seta if he thought Michigan Creamery would sell out of ice cream (pending good weather). He said it’s unlikely, simply because Michigan Creamery makes sure to stock up their two walk-in freezers and have extra ice cream and soft serve ready. He said that Art Fair has traditionally been the biggest day (and week) for ice cream but that he makes sure to have extra staff ready for days like Hash Bash when foot traffic around the Diag increases.

Nick Lemmer, one-half of the sibling duo that owns Iorio’s Gelato, echoed that while Hash Bash is one of the busier days, especially in warm weather, that Art Fair is still the most profitable day of the year. He also told us that even though it's not the busiest day, Hash Bash is certainly in the top 10 percent of days when workers are constantly buzzing around the small but wildly popular gelato shop. 

Staff over at Bruegger’s Bagel’s also prepare for Saturday’s celebration but told us they see more of a change in customers -- instead of students, it’s Hash Bash attendees looking for a bite.

Curious about cannabis in Ann Arbor? Check this out: Women cultivate leadership, entrepreneurship in the Ann Arbor cannabis industry

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