Kevin Cox and Nate McCardell, the new owners of Moon Winks Café, used their carpentry connections as owners of Michigan Studs and Walls to remodel the Dixboro restaurant in one week, reopening at the end of August. The new look features a white subway tile backsplash, modern wood detailing on the ceiling, white walls, and “Moon Winks” in giant handmade lights above the register.

Kevin’s brother Patrick is behind the counter as general manager. He moved back to Ann Arbor from Iowa last spring after serving as a regional manager for a restaurant chain and has introduced a revamped breakfast and lunch menu featuring sandwiches, soups, and salads. 

Kevin says they’re proud to partner with local vendors including Ypsilanti’s EK’s Cheesecakes, Suzy’s Cookies from the Dixboro Farmers Market, Hyperion Coffee, and Guernsey Farms Dairy. Kevin’s wife Alisa is vegan, and in addition to having a bagel sandwich named after her, the café also offers other vegan-friendly items, including vegan ice cream and cheesecake. 

“The community has been so supportive of us,” Kevin says, as he points to a group of regulars: Clague middle-schoolers and their parents eating ice cream at a nearby table. And a famous neighbor up the road has offered the new owners her support if needed: Ann Arbor restaurateur Sava Farah, who runs the Dixboro Project. “I mean, she’s like Michelin rated!” he laughs. 

Moon Winks Café, 5151 Plymouth Rd., (734) 994–5151. Tues.–Fri. 6 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Mon. Instagram: moonwinkscafe 

Got a restaurant or retail tip? Email