It is with deep sadness that we share with you that we will be closing our doors effective at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3. It’s hard for us to believe that, after 87 years, there will no longer be a Haab’s Restaurant in Downtown Ypsilanti.
In 1976, Harvey Glaze and I were excited about continuing the tradition that Oscar and Otto Haab established when they opened Haab Brothers Café in 1934. Harvey had been the chef at the Ann Arbor Town Club, while I was the manager. In 1986, Harvey decided to retire, and Steve Yandian, our general manager, purchased Harvey’s share of the business.
Steve was an integral part of our operation for 14 years, until he and his wife Joyce decided suddenly to retire to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In 2000, Dave, my youngest son and a graduate of Washtenaw Community College’s culinary arts program, replaced Steve as our general manager and has been my partner for the past 20 years. Dave has efficiently run the back of the house, while I’ve continued operating the front of the house.
And then there was a pandemic! For much of the first year, Dave and I, and one or two key employees, went into the take-out business. As we began to open on a limited basis, many of our key employees returned to work. Many did not, however, and sufficient staffing has continued to be a problem. We have a very loyal -- and mature -- customer base, and many were understandably uncomfortable with indoor restaurant dining. Group business, which had traditionally dominated our third dining room, dropped dramatically. Decreased business has made it nearly impossible to recruit employees into the hospitality industry.
We have enjoyed serving each of you, and perhaps the best part has been serving second- and third-generation families. However, Dave and I have finally had to admit that age and health are catching up with us. We will miss the family of customers and staff that we’ve built over the years (47 for me, and 35 for Dave). We will miss each and every one of you!Mike Kabat, Haab's Restaurant