Julia Goulet is closing Late Bird Boutique, the women’s clothing store she launched in 2019, at the end of October and says she’ll offer heavy discounts on her remaining inventory. After she “worked for the greats” of Ann Arbor retail, including Von Maur, Evereve, and V2V, Goulet says it became her passion to “help women find clothes that make them feel comfortable and confident.” She curated the store’s selection, located on the top floor of a renovated onetime auto parts factory just north of the New Center. 

Goulet says she lost money as shoppers moved online, especially for holiday shopping during the pandemic. She hopes to find a job with regular hours but wants to continue helping women as a personal shopper. 

Late Bird Boutique (closing end of October), 1200 N. Main, (734) 773–1949.Mon. & Wed.–Fri. 2–7 p.m., Tues. 2–6 p.m. Closed Sat. & Sun. Also open by appointment. shoplatebird.com


Qdoba Mexican Grill on Plymouth Rd. closed last month, with a sign on the door inviting customers to visit any of its three other area locations. Ann Arbor native Peter Shipman opened his first Qdoba on S. Main in 2003 and added the Washtenaw Ave. location in 2005, the Plymouth Rd. store in 2008, and the S. Zeeb franchise just last year. Shipman—who started out as a Domino’s franchisee and later a corporate employee—also introduced another fast-fresh concept to Ann Arbor about a decade ago: Jersey Mike’s Subs. 


Van Boven Shoes in Nickels Arcade closed suddenly at the beginning of September and its future is in limbo. Former owner Roger Pothus, who passed away in December, was a staunch supporter of locally owned businesses and a style leader who opened Renaissance clothing in Ann Arbor in 1971; he purchased Van Boven Shoes in 2013. Together with longtime manager Rich Bellas, he’d nurtured the indie campus shoe store (not affiliated with Van Boven Clothing) into a cult favorite for its wide selection of high-quality brands. 

It’s a “cherished store,” says Wonwoo Lee, chief real estate officer for Oxford Companies. Lee says Nickels Arcade LLC is “still working earnestly with Roger’s estate to figure out a direction for the space.”


The note on the door of Teriyaki Time last month was heartfelt: “It is with great sadness that we write to inform you, as of September 15, 2022, this location will be closed and turned into condos … It was such a pleasure serving you! We wish you the best going forward, we pray for your happiness, and we hope for your life to be prosperous.” 

The onetime gas station and an adjacent parcel at the triangular corner of Detroit and Fifth Ave. are being redeveloped by owner MAVD Development and condo specialist Tom Fitzsimmons. Owners Eric and Song Lee—who ran an earlier version of the business in Seattle for a decade before moving to Ann Arbor to be near Song’s family—are retiring.


Got a restaurant or retail tip? Email marketplace@aaobserver.com.