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Saturday December 20, 2014
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Closings Hit Campus

 

continued

Campbell, thirty-six, is a busy guy. In addition to owning the Irie, he works full-time at EMU as a food service manager and has worked the last four Olympics putting on special events for U.S. medal winners. What possessed him to take on the Jamaican Jerk Pit too? "Because I'm crazy," he sighs. "No, uh, wait, because I have a passion for this kind of cooking and I wanted to bring it to more people. . . ." He seemed to be struggling to find some sort of press-release answer that wasn't in his nature.

Campbell says he's planning on trying for a liquor license for the Jerk Pit, but until then the nonalcoholic drinks are plenty enticing: Della points out the soursop nectar, coconut wa-ter, guava carrot juice, ginger beer, and more ambiguously flavored concoctions named Vitamalt, Cola Champagne, and Reggae Medley. All under $3, they're cheaper and rarer than a pina colada.

Next door, at the corner of Thayer and North University, Panera Bread opened its fifth Ann Arbor location in mid-March. It's there because Sam Roumanis got tired of cooking.

Roumanis, sixty-five and a longtime Ann Arbor restaurateur, has deep roots in the city's homegrown restaurant scene. He used to own Cottage Inn, he still has a hand in res-taurants as diverse as Gratzi, the Chop House, and Carlyle Grill, and he's more than paid his dues in the kitchen.

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