The University of Michigan will acquire property that is currently home to Angelo’s and Angelo’s on the Side, a family-run eatery and coffee house that has served diner-style breakfasts, light lunches and fresh baked bread in Ann Arbor for more than six decades.
Owners Stephen and Jennifer Vangelatos have decided to close the restaurant and retire. The Vangelatoses have owned and operated the business since Stephen Vangelatos’ parents retired in 1986.
The Board of Regents approved the $4.5 million purchase during its May 18 meeting. The tentative closing date, no later than March 31, 2024, allows the owners to transition out of the restaurant business within their desired timeframe.
“During the negotiations, the family explained that they want to close the business on their own terms,” said Geoffrey Chatas, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We appreciate them entrusting us with the property. It will further the university’s options for development in the Catherine Street area.”
Angelo’s first opened in 1956 after Angelo and Patricia Vangelatos migrated from Greece to Ann Arbor in 1951. The beloved Ann Arbor restaurant gained acclaim for its deep-fried French raisin toast and is a short walk from hospitals and clinics on the Michigan Medicine campus.
Stephen Vangelatos, 65, indicated his father’s decision to save money and buy their building — and eventually adjacent buildings and a parking lot — helped Angelo’s survive and thrive in Ann Arbor for decades.
“There have been a lot of other restaurants that didn’t own their building who were forced to leave. They had no choice,” he said. “My father and my mother worked here seven days a week. … I give them all the credit for making Angelo’s a beloved part of the U-M community. My wife and I have loved that as well.
“I fielded multiple offers, but I’ve found the process with the university has been the smoothest. We look forward to closing the business on our own terms to enjoy the fruits of our labor and my parents’ labor, with our children and grandchildren.”
The site U-M will obtain includes a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery and two residential apartments. The property is a 0.188-acre parcel located between university-owned property at Glen Avenue and Catherine Street.
The university’s plans for the area have not yet been determined.
“And when we leave that place we’ll be laughing out loud
Smiling so hard, we’ll draw a crowd
They’ll say, “What’s up, man?” We’ll just have to boast
About their eggs over easy, hashbrowns, and toast
You may be leaving, but this song and the memories will live on forever!