Eastern Market Brewing Co. has been expanding its footprint since it first swung open the doors of its brew pub six years ago. Now the brewery is growing once again with its latest project, Elephant & Co, featuring a self-serve taproom, vegan doughnuts, and Detroit-style pizza — all set to open sometime in 2024 at 456 Charlotte Street, the space that formerly housed Founders Brewing Co. (which closed following years of controversy earlier in 2023). The establishment will open during daytime hours offering coffee and a variety of treats from Dooped Donuts, one of the brands behind the company. Dozens of self-serve taps will be on hand so customers can pour their own pints. This latest venture follows the opening of Lincoln Tap in Royal Oak, which became the first self-serve taproom to operate in the state of Michigan when it launched in fall 2022.
Wage theft in Ann Arbor
The U.S. Department of Labor has accused the owner of two Ann Arbor restaurants of failing to pay overtime to its workers over the course of three years. In a lawsuit filed September 18 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division against Cascabel Ventures LLC — which operates Isalita and Mani Osteria & Bar and is owned by Adam Baru — investigators alleged that the restaurant group neglected to pay $121,767 in overtime wages between July 6, 2020 and July 3, 2022. “Complying with federal wage laws is not optional,” said Timolin Mitchell, wage and hour Midwest deputy regional administrator in a written statement released to media this week. “Every worker has the right to be paid fully for the job they do. Employers must be responsible for knowing the law and abiding by it. Workers cannot agree to waive their rights – including the right to be paid the minimum wage – under federal law.” The labor department is seeking $242,534 in back wages and damages.