Adrian and Lori Iraola let go of their second Chela’s at Stone Plaza (Stone School and Ellsworth) last December: “We wanted to focus on this place,” says Adrian from his original location at Maple and Liberty, “and there was a death in the family.” For most of the summer, he and Lori were essentially back to running two restaurants anyway, with their booth at the Top of the Park.
Guillermo Lopez is planning to reopen the Stone School taqueria as El Ranchito. It will be his first restaurant, though not his first business–he’s also a house painter. He didn’t yet have the menu worked out in early July but mentioned steak ranchero at dinnertime and egg and potato burritos for breakfast.
Maureen Hawley is closing La Belle Maison at the end of July. “I’ve made a statement on Facebook. I don’t really have much else to say. I’m just ready for something new,” says Hawley, who opened the store on E. Stadium in 2005 and moved it to Main St. in 2008. The Facebook statement doesn’t add much to that.
Hawley’s heirloom-quality cool white linens, understated crockery, and baby clothes will soon be replaced by Lisa Roberts’ new home store, Bed & Butter. Roberts, who owns Rock Paper Scissors down the street, emails that she hopes to be open at the end of August: “With the closing of Ann Arbor institutions such as John Leidy, Selo Shevel and La Belle Maison, we are excited about continuing the tradition of providing our community with a local place to find great home goods and gifts!”
The Big M Car Wash closed about May 1, says Chuck Gallup, who owns the property. The main reason it closed was that “Steve Scovel, who’s been running it for at least ten years, decided to retire.” Gallup is a little cagey about the future of the property, which also includes the adjacent vacant lot that used to be Sze-chuan West. While he says it may reopen as a carwash, he also has a buyer interested in the combined parcel. What the buyer might have in mind for it, he’s not saying.