What's up with the Plymouth Rd. Sweetwaters?
by Catherine Zudak
From the January, 2018 issue
On September 15, the Sweetwaters cafe in Plymouth Green Crossings posted notices online and on-site that it was closing temporarily due to equipment maintenance and road construction. Three months later, regulars were still wondering when and if it would reopen.
In late November, one fan emailed the Observer asking for news. "This sudden closure pulled the rug out from a lot of regulars," he wrote, "This was a very popular cafe--packed with students on Sunday afternoon, a women's knitting group on Thursday nights, business folks having meetings, people doing job interviews, and regulars like me ... doing research and writing."
The fan didn't want to be quoted by name. In fact, no one wanted to be quoted by name about the closure.
Sweetwaters offers franchises and does not own the closed location. However, the company does list all locations, both company and franchised-owned, on its website. The Plymouth Rd. cafe is no longer listed.
Its Facebook page is still active, however, and apparently is now under the parent company's control. A query there got this (unsigned) email response: "Hearing how much Sweetwater's Plymouth Rd. means to everyone is heartwarming! We are still working with the franchisee to see if we can get this store re-opened. If we have any new news--we will post on the Sweetwater's Plymouth Rd. Facebook page."
The name of the franchisee, too, remains a mystery. When MLive covered the cafe's opening in 2009, it wrote that the franchise was owned by a group of investors, without naming names.
A barista familiar with the closing says, "No one really knows what's going on."
Of course, he, too, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
While who owns the franchise, when it might reopen, and why it closed remain obscure, there are plenty of other Sweetwaters locations open for business in the Ann Arbor area. Not to mention several rival coffeehouses along Plymouth, including Espresso Royale, Starbucks, and Moonwinks in Dixboro.
The disappointed regular wrote he had transferred his business to Barnes & Noble's cafe on Washtenaw. He even ran into another displaced regular there. They both miss "their" cafe on Plymouth Rd.
[Originally published in January, 2018.]
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