As rent prices creep ever upwards, local Ann Arbor businesses
often struggle to stay afloat. Unfortunately, market pressures
force some to close shop.

Famiglia’s pizza parlor, a local staple for several years,
succumbed to the pressure of State Street rent woes last summer.
While its corner location attracted a large student crowd,
especially those en route to a weekly football game, its popularity
could not save it. That particular location has seen its fair share
of changes in the last 10 years from Domino’s to
Famiglia’s to the newest branch of the sandwich giant Jimmy
John’s.

Famiglia’s signature pizzas combined a cheap, greasy base
with peculiar toppings to create a culinary treat that only New
York Pizza Depot could rival. The walls were covered with letters
from celebrities and everyday folk alike, praising Famiglia’s
famous flavor and friendly service.

Decker Drugs, which also closed in the spring of 2003, was the
place to go for students needing simple everyday items like
shampoo, contact solution and cigarettes.

Unlike most commercial general merchandise stores, Decker seemed
to tailor its goods to the fast-paced demands of students’
lives. Products were strategically placed to facilitate quick grabs
and emergency needs. A wide array of greeting cards, nearly all of
which cost no more than $1, welcome customers as they enter the
unique world of Decker. Makeup racks mingled with shampoo displays,
condoms and earplugs. Popular magazines, small outdoor supplies and
various bags of enticing candy lined the shelves of the
discombobulated, but loveable local favorite.

While franchises such as Starbucks and Einstein’s Bagels
offer quality products to many grateful consumers, shops such as
Famiglia’s and Decker Drugs contributed their unusual flair
to Ann Arbor’s characteristic environment.

 

— Daily Arts Writer Brandon Harig also contributed to
this article.

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