Angelo's stands the test of time after 60 years of business

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 4:05pm

Though Angelo's Restaurant has served the same menu at the same location on Catherine Street and Glen Avenue for the past 60 years, their popularity among students and alumni doesn’t seem to age.

Angelo's is a family-run breakfast and lunch restaurant in Ann Arbor, with an enduring backdrop of an old-fashioned diner atmosphere.

The owners operate their main restaurant building every day of the week, as well as Angelo's on the Side, a counter-service and carry-out coffee house.

Steve Vangelatos, owner of the restaurant, said he thinks tradition, the food and the atmosphere of Angelo's residents coming back.

Since his father, Angelo Vangelatos, opened the restaurant after coming to Ann Arbor from Greece, Steve has carried on the tradition of serving French toast and homemade bread. Vangelatos said he believes these two dishes symbolize why customers return to the restaurant.

“The homemade bread, raisin bread and the white bread I still make every day,” he said.

Andrea Kraus, a dual-degree graduate student in Business and Rackham and Angelo's patron, echoed Vangelatos.

“All I know is French toast,” she said. “People love the French toast.”

Vangelatos said many University of Michigan alumni make coming back to the restaurant every year a tradition, such as a group of 19 alumni from the class of 1985 who come back to the restaurant every year, sometimes joined by their children who also study at the University.

LSA freshman Erin Day regularly visits the restaurant with her father, and said she believes traditions like her family’s add to the allure of the restaurant.  

“More than the restaurant itself, I really like being with my family,” Day said. “It’s one of my dad’s favorite restaurants. I think the tradition, and the name, keeps it around.”

Vangelatos noted that the restaurant's proximity to the University hospital and contributes to the restaurant’s popularity. LSA senior Jed Johnson expressed similar sentiments, saying he thinks the young neighborhood drives the business.

“It’s a really good location,” he said. “It’s in Kerrytown, so there are a lot of artsy people that live in that part of town.”

Though the restaurant is family-run, Angelo's maintains a group of dedicated employees, many of whom have worked there for more than 10 years. Vangelatos said on most weekends, he will typically have at least four family members working by his side.

Steve’s son, Tony Vangelatos, is the manager of the store. Tony said the food and traditions have kept the restaurant alive and growing over the years.

“People love it,” he said. “We have a lot of regulars and people always have a good time here.”