U-M-themed Pretzel Bell to open restaurant, sports bar next week

The new Pretzel Bell restaurant and sports bar won't exactly bleed maize and blue, but patrons can expect to see a lot of those colors when the new eatery opens on April 14.

"They're definitely going to feel like their in Ann Arbor," says Brent Stevens, general manager of Pretzel Bell. "The University of Michigan and U-M sports theme is going to be a big part of what we’re doing."

Pretzel Bell is one of those old-time, local brands best associated with U-M. The restaurant was a 20th Century staple, , occupying the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Liberty for  nearly 50 years (it first opened in 1934). Check out more about Pretzel Bell's history here.

A small group of U-M alumni have decided to reinvigorate the brand, opening a new restaurant under the same name at the old Lena and Habana space at Liberty and Main streets. The restaurant will occupy 8,000 square feet on the first floor and basement of the building. The sports bar will be in the basement and TVs for games will be stationed throughout the restaurant. Ninety percent of the beers on tap will be Michigan-brewed craft beers.

"We're going to rotate them a lot," Stevens says. "We're going to try to have the latest and most interesting beers."

Pretzel will have a staff of 75 people serving capacity crowds that could number as high as 275 people. The menu will consist mainly of modern comfort food, such as steaks, burgers and mac-and-cheese with entrees selling between $16-$25 and sandwiches priced between $9-$15.

"We're doing everything we can to make it up to date," Stevens says. "The mac-and-cheese will have a pretzel crust. The steaks will have a brown-sugar rub."

Source: Brent Stevens, general manager of Pretzel Bell
Writer: Jon Zemke

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