“Rents are high over there. They just didn’t have the business,” says Falsetta’s Market owner Wally Mulki. Mulki is speaking of Asian Fuzion, his neighbor in Pittsfield Plaza on Washtenaw, which closed recently after less than a year in business. Mulki doesn’t think the problem was the food, a kind of Thai-Coney Island blend–he says he ate there many times.
Mulki has the same landlord Asian Fuzion had. If rents are so high, how’s he doing? “I’m doing OK,” he said. “People have to drink, they have to smoke.”
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ArtSpoken has spoken its last. Owner Gretchen Adracie closed her funky framing and art supply store on the corner of Miller and Ashley in early August. “The art supply thing didn’t go as well as I’d hoped,” says Adracie, who opened the store five years ago. Things were fine at first, but as art supply sales dwindled it became clear that most of her business would come from the custom framing. So she decided to close.
“I don’t need this much space,” Adracie says. “But I’m still going to frame,” something she’s been doing in one location or another for twenty-five years. With luck, she’ll be doing it in a new space this fall; she’s gotten together with a number of local artists to form the Dharma Initiative Artist Collective (Lost fans will get the reference to the Dharma Imitative, a mysterious organization headquartered in Ann Arbor). In August, they were in negotiations to rent a building on Huron and hoped to move sometime in September. “We’ll all get a spot, and we’ll all share.”
Adracie says she’ll miss her old space. Although she only rented the building (originally built as a gas station in the 1920s), she did a lot with it. That included painting the stucco exterior a somewhat shocking yet cheerful shade of orange and mounting vaguely art nouveau pineapple-shaped lights on the roof. “I love that building,” she says wistfully. “I put a lot work into it because I wanted it to be cool.” And even though she paid for the lights herself, she’s leaving them behind. “I think they fit the building, and I have no need for them.”
For custom framing orders, Adracie can be reached at 327-8888.
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