Historic Haab's Restaurant in downtown Ypsilanti has closed

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

After 87 years of serving the downtown Ypsilanti area, Haab's Restaurant owners announced this week that Thursday was the final day for the historic destination. 

"It is with deep sadness that we share with you that we will be closing our doors effective at 8 p.m on Thursday, March 3," reads a statement from owner Mike Kabat on the restaurant's website. "It’s hard for us to believe that, after 87 years, there will no longer be a Haab’s Restaurant in Downtown Ypsilanti."

Kabat cites a variety of reasons for the closing. Among them are staffing shortage, a decrease in business and his own age. He's been at Haab's for 47 years and his son Dave, the general manager, has worked there for 35. 

The restaurant, on East Michigan Avenue near Huron, served classic cuisine like London broil, salmon Caesar salad, house specialties like "chicken in the basket" with house-made shoestring potatoes, a biscuit and honey and ice cream puffs with Sanders hot fudge for dessert. 

Kabat says the restaurant was founded by Oscar and Otto Haab as the Haab Brothers Cafe in 1934. He and his former partner, Harvey Glaze, took over the business in 1976. A decade later Harvey retired and Steve Yandian came on board. When he was ready to retire, Kabat's son Dave stepped in and has been running the back of house for the past 20 years. 

According to a historic marker outside the building, it served as a restaurant as far back as 1870. 

"We have enjoyed serving each of you, and perhaps the best part has been serving second- and third-generation families. However, Dave and I have finally had to admit that age and health are catching up with us. We will miss the family of customers and staff that we’ve built over the years (47 for me, and 35 for Dave). We will miss each and every one of you," Kabat wrote in his farewell statement. "Thank you for your support over the years."

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens