Two restaurant tragedies hit Ann Arbor this fall.

The restaurant eve opened in the Bell Tower last year after several years’ hiatus, but in September, before Eve Aronoff Fernandez could celebrate the first anniversary of the rebooting of her beloved high-end restaurant, plumbing problems shut it down. At the time, eve’s Facebook page and website breezily promised a speedy reopening as soon as the old building’s pipes were fixed. In late October, Aronoff Fernandez announced she would not reopen there after all. “Unfortunately,” she explained further in an email, “I can’t say too much … [T]he situation from the flood/water damage got more complicated than we ever could have imagined and … we are actively looking for a new space. We had to get attorneys involved, which is not fun.” Her attorney, Paul Bohn, was hopeful the situation would be resolved out of court.

Aronoff Fernandez still has her other restaurant, Frita Batidos, and she emails that she’ll likely start doing private catering and “chef-driven dinners and perhaps “a pretty awesome eve Pop-up restaurant for the month of February.”

Back2Roots Bistro succumbed to a pile-up of human tragedies. Several years ago, Swaroop Bhojani gave up a well-paying U-M job as an oncology research scientist to pursue his real love: reinventing Indian food in light, piquant vegetarian and vegan versions. He opened Hut-K Chaats in 2011 to immediate success. Last year he took on business partner Pradeep Chowdhry (“PC”) to open Back2Roots, a white-tablecloth vegan iteration of his cuisine, on Main St. In July, Chowdhry died of cancer. And in India, Bhojani’s sister, weakened by lung cancer, died of dengue fever, a tragedy with rippling effects, because she had been caretaker to his aged parents. Closing Back2Roots will allow him to make more frequent trips to India. (Another horrific factor in his decision to close Back2Roots was the fatal stabbing of his employee Kenneth Abernathy in August in Ypsilanti.)

In early November, he was negotiating with a possible tenant for the Back2Roots space. If they come to an agreement, it will soon be an Indian restaurant, and Bhoiani will be developing a healthy, vegetarian portion of its menu. “Cooking is my passion,” he says. “Business is not my passion.” Hut-K is still busy, though Bhojani sheepishly admits that he needs to shut up and work more–when he’s supposed to be behind the counter taking orders, he often wanders off to distribute samples of his latest herbal smoothie or explain the biochemistry of sprouted grain.