Students returning from a summer away may notice a few additions to the Ann Arbor restaurant and retail landscape.
A variety of new businesses have been popping up around the city over the summer, with many of them opening in the State Street neighborhood.
Among the new establishments is Pink Pump, a small boutique specializing in women’s shoes and other accessories like belts and handbags, located on East Liberty Street.
Tawney Thieu, owner of Pink Pump, which opened in Ann Arbor six weeks ago, said merchandise at the store ranges in price from $20 to $500. The Ann Arbor shop isn’t Thieu’s first store, though. There are other locations scattered throughout southeast Michigan.
Thieu said she decided to expand into Ann Arbor because she thinks the city is a “great market to go into.”
“I like the college town, I like the locals and the boutiques,” Thieu said.
She also said students will benefit from her store because it offers a variety of styles and fashions.
“I think a boutique that can cater to all is unique and I think that’ll help us to stand out a little bit,” Thieu said.
Pink Pump isn’t the only new store to hit East Liberty Street. This & That, a locally-owned candy shop, opened about seven weeks ago. Andrea Graef, the owner of the store said she decided to open in Ann Arbor because it offers a mix “between students, local people and tourists.”
“I wanted a little bit of everything,” she said.
The store offers more than 300 different kinds of candies and other sweet items, according to Graef. This variety will be especially appealing to students, she said.
“I think they like it because they can come in and buy as much or as little as they like,” Graef said.
In the upcoming months, Graef said she is planning to introduce online ordering, event catering and even delivery to places like the library during exam time.
But locally-owned businesses are not the only ones flocking to Ann Arbor, as chains are making their way to the city as well.
@burger, owned by Big Boy Restaurants, opened on East Liberty Street about a month ago, said Dave Crawford, senior vice-president of marketing for @burger, a “fast-casual” restaurant serving burgers.
“Fast-casual burger is where all of the energy is right now,” he said.
Crawford said there were multiple factors that went into choosing Ann Arbor as a location, including the city’s good economic situation, the presence of the University and Ann Arbor culture.
@burger has a relaxed atmosphere where students can come unwind, Crawford said.
“You can kind of come in and hang out,” he said. “The seating is built for comfort.”
In the future students may also be able to choose the restaurant’s music, and even have their iPods play over the speakers, according to Crawford.
Other new businesses like CVS/pharmacy and Five Guys Burgers and Fries are opening on State Street in the near future as well. Inquiries sent to CVS Pharmacy from The Michigan Daily went unreturned.