Farmers Restaurant, which filled the bellies of many Eastern Market visitors, has closed its doors permanently at 2542 Market St., Crain’s reports. The establishment, located near the entrance to the main market sheds, was known for known for its impressively stacked Reuben sandwiches, big plates of pancakes, and corned beef hash. It closed as the restaurant’s building and several others in the vicinity sold to landlord Sanford Nelson.
Nelson tells Crain’s he had asked Farmers Restaurant to remain open while the buildings, which include ones housing Eastern Market Antiques and Gabriel Imports, undergo renovations. However, the owner Gavrill Fermanis was reportedly determined to retire. A sign now hangs in the window of the business, thanking customers for “the many wonderful years of business.”
The shutter comes at a time when the makeup of Eastern Market is changing rapidly. The neighborhood is a popular attraction for both city residents and tourists from the surrounding region, which has also made it a major target for new developments and businesses. Nelson has emerged as major landlord shaping the market. He’s made several significant building purchases in Eastern Market over the past year including a buyout of buildings that house Bert’s Marketplace, Supino Pizzeria, Mootown Ice Cream Shoppe, Russell Street Deli, and Zeff’s Coney Island. In December, Deadline Detroit reported that Nelson had raised the rent on lofts in the market by 150 percent, resulting in a exodus of tenants.