A bigger Bagel Fragel
And other Marketplace Changes
by Tony McReynolds & Sally Mitani
Michael Rockette was just twenty when he bought Bagel Fragel two years ago. In early July he took another big step, moving two doors down in Plymouth View Center, doubling his space and boosting seating capacity from seven to twenty. While most business in the old space was takeout, now more people are eating in, enjoying new perks like a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and actual restrooms.
Bagel Fragel was in the old location for a long time and most of the equipment was pretty creaky, so Rockette outfitted the new space with new appliances and counters. They still carry thirty-two kinds of bagels and just about as many flavored cream cheeses, but he's expanded the menu beyond bagel sandwiches to add pasta, salads, and lo-cal wraps.
The Fragel remains their most popular item. A deep-fried raisin bagel tossed in cinnamon sugar, Fragels are something of an Ann Arbor institution, and since the Bagel Factory on South University closed in 2001, Bagel Fragel is the only place you can get them.
With the move, Rockette changed the name to MD Bagel Fragel. The M stands for Michael and the D stands for Dylan--Michael's twelve-year-old brother, who helps out in the store.
MD Bagel Fragel, 1760 Plymouth (Plymouth View Center). 332-1020. Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Andrew Melcher didn't gain any square footage when he relocated Scrapbook Haven from Westgate to the old Panorama Video store in Boulevard Plaza in June. But the new space is wider, which gives him more options in display and customer service, and "it gave me a little more flexibility in putting in my crop tables." Those are special six-foot-long tables for cutting and cropping paper, photos, and anything else you'd want to put in a scrapbook, and they're great for scrapbookers who don't have the space or equipment to work on their projects at home. Use of the tables is free unless there's a previously scheduled paid event, like Scrapbook Haven's
Friday night Premium Crops. Essentially an evening of scrapbooking and socializing, Premium Crops runs from 4 p.m. to midnight and includes a pizza dinner, M&Ms, and soft drinks, plus use of the crop tables, die-cut machines (used to cut paper into shapes likes stars, hands, and trees), and other scrapbooking tools. It's $12 for the night and includes a 15 percent discount on anything in the store, from albums and papers to tools and templates.
Melcher says he moved the store for several reasons, but "it was mainly trying to get a lower rent." Scrapbookers should be happy he succeeded, because ever since the Scrap Yard on Zeeb closed in 2006, it's the only scrapbook store in town.
Scrapbook Haven, 2114 W. Stadium (Boulevard Plaza). 302-7810. Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. www.scrapbookhaven.biz
The Ann Arbor Biscuit Company, the artisanal dog treat bakery, has been closed a lot over the summer. In July a "For Lease" sign appeared in the window. Landlord Ed Shaffran says Yvette Stayduhar's store is still open, but with an illness in an out-of-town branch of the family, she's closing when necessary. In the meantime, Yvette and husband, Sean, "allowed us to hang a leasing sign in the window. They're trying to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, but the lease is up next year and they'd like to find someone to take it over." The Stayduhars didn't answer email inquiries.
Ann Arbor Biscuit Company, 209 S. Fourth Ave. 994-5550. www.annarborbiscuit.com.
CPNU Computer Services has moved in with Ink Solutions, making the small storefront in the West Stadium Shopping Center virtually one stop-shopping for computer accessories--and doubling the expertise on hand to troubleshoot computer problems. The two businesses haven't merged--CPNU rents space from Ink Solutions' owner Waikim Lee.
"All his customers have computers, all my customers have computers," explains CPNU owner Cameron Vand, who opened the business in 1998 on East Liberty. CPNU stands for Computers, Peripherals, and Upgrades (the "N" was originally an ampersand). Vand sells a full line of computers, both laptop and desktop. He also services Macs and PCs and claims that at $45 an hour he's got the most competitive prices in town. "I do stuff on Macs the Apple store won't do," he claims.
CPNU Computer Services, 1918 W. Stadium (West Stadium Shopping Center). 623-2768. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. & Sun. by appointment. www.cpnu.com.
At press time, Sava Lelcaj was very close to signing the papers to move Sava's Cafe across State Street. She wants to take over Zanzibar's space, as well as its liquor license, and become a full-service restaurant. "If everything works out, I'll be in there August 1st, remodeling and getting the place suited to my needs," Lelcaj says.
[Originally published in August, 2009.]
On August 18, 2010, Pritpaul wrote:
Umm, it's been named MD Bagel Fragel even in the old location after he took it over. Not sure if the outside sign said it though.