Amer’s, a Mediterranean deli located on State Street, is currently under construction, and though the store owner assures students the deli’s quality will stay the same, students might have to get cozy to enjoy it.
The deli’s downtown location is undergoing construction which will cut the seating area in half. This, according to owner Amer Bathish is due to “outrageous” rises in rent. The restaurant will now only occupy half of its former space to save on rental costs.
“I have been in this area for 28 years and the rent has gone up every year … from 4,000 dollars a month to 18,000 dollars a month,” Bathish said. “Imagine rent that is 600 dollars a day; that’s why you see businesses coming and going all the time.”
Amer’s Mediterranean Deli is described as “the marriage of a coffee house and a quality delicatessen,” according to their website. It was founded near the University of Michigan-Flint campus, but moved to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus in 1989.
LSA senior Leslie Schuman, who was studying in Amer’s Wednesday, said she didn’t feel impacted by the change.
“I used to sit in booths. It’s a bit more crowded here than it used to be but I don’t really mind it.”
Schuman said she usually just stops in to get food and as long the food stays good the renovation won’t affect her future visits to Amer’s.
“The people here are cool; it sucks that they’ve been here for so long and that the rent is getting raised on them but that’s sort of the unfortunate downfall of being a small business,” she said.
Bathish said in his experience, many students aren’t necessarily interested in sitting and eating when they go to Amer’s.
“A lot of the students are on the go anyway so the reduced seating won’t affect them,” Bathish said.
LSA senior Stephanie Choi, echoed Schuman’s sentiments.
“It definitely got smaller, a bit more crowded; it’s a different experience from usual.”
Choi added she hopes small business like Amer’s stick around.
“They’re very unique and Ann Arbor-esque,” she said.
Bathish said he wanted to assure students nothing was cut from the menu, and the quality of the food will remain the same. He said he’s confident that these renovations won’t affect business.
“My formula has always been the same: same quality of food, same distributors,” Bathish said. “As long as the overhead stays the same, I plan on being here for another 28 years.”