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Six Classic Ann Arbor Bars and Restaurants Everyone Should Try

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Ann Arbor certainly has its share of trendy eateries, but this week, Eater is serving up six historic establishments in honor of Classics Week. Surely someone's been left out (as this is not reputed to be a list of the oldest of the old), so feel free to add some other Ann Arbor classics in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Alley Bar

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112 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 662-8757
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Originally opened as Charles Binder’s Saloon in 1880, the site of the Alley Bar has continuously been operated as such since then. Slid into a narrow storefront on Liberty Street downtown, Alley Bar prides itself on low-key laid-back style where one can drink canned beer and watch the games. They also have separate lists for scotch and whiskey, but don’t expect of a glass of wine. Photo

2. Old Town Tavern

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122 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 662-9291
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Known as The Bismark when it opened in 1898, Old Town can be found just a few doors down from Alley Bar. It’s also operated as a bar or saloon since its founding, and as Old Town Tavern for over forty years. Self-described as the “last of the townie bars” they used to open at 6 a.m. to serve third shift workers. Now you’ll have to wait until 11:30am on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends. Photo

3. Weber's Restaurant

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3050 Jackson Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 665-3636
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Weber’s has been serving up classic steakhouse fare since 1937, although not in its current location on Jackson Road until 1962. The prime rib—still a menu staple—became the house specialty in 1950. Founder, Herman Weber, passed away last year after his 100th birthday, but leaves a family-owned legacy with Weber’s Restaurant and the adjoining hotel. Photo

4. Knight's Steakhouse

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2324 Dexter Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 665-8644
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Founded as a meat market in 1952, the Knight family opened their first restaurant in 1984. With two more locations downtown and in Jackson, Michigan, Knight’s hasn’t forgotten its beginnings. The meat market is still open in its original location, serving a tremendous selection of cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry. There is also an on-site deli and bakery where one can grab a muffin, soup or sandwich. Photo

5. Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

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304 S Ashley St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Featured on such shows as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man v. Food, as well as populating lists of the country’s best hamburgers, Blimpy Burger opened in 1953. Known for lines out the door, the original location was shuttered in 2013 when University of Michigan bought the land and building on which the business ran. It recently reopened on Ashley Street to much fanfare. Come prepared: there’s a method to ordering, and instructions can be found on their website. Photo

6. Heidelberg

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215 N Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 663-7758
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Whether eating in Heidelberg's Alpine Dining Room or drinking beer in their Rathskellar, this German-inspired establishment has been a town and college favorite since 1961. With many German and Michigan beers on tap, don’t forget to drink it from their signature vesse—the Das Boot—a large glass boot containing two liters of beer. Photo

1. Alley Bar

112 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Originally opened as Charles Binder’s Saloon in 1880, the site of the Alley Bar has continuously been operated as such since then. Slid into a narrow storefront on Liberty Street downtown, Alley Bar prides itself on low-key laid-back style where one can drink canned beer and watch the games. They also have separate lists for scotch and whiskey, but don’t expect of a glass of wine. Photo
112 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

2. Old Town Tavern

122 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Known as The Bismark when it opened in 1898, Old Town can be found just a few doors down from Alley Bar. It’s also operated as a bar or saloon since its founding, and as Old Town Tavern for over forty years. Self-described as the “last of the townie bars” they used to open at 6 a.m. to serve third shift workers. Now you’ll have to wait until 11:30am on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends. Photo
122 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

3. Weber's Restaurant

3050 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Weber’s has been serving up classic steakhouse fare since 1937, although not in its current location on Jackson Road until 1962. The prime rib—still a menu staple—became the house specialty in 1950. Founder, Herman Weber, passed away last year after his 100th birthday, but leaves a family-owned legacy with Weber’s Restaurant and the adjoining hotel. Photo
3050 Jackson Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

4. Knight's Steakhouse

2324 Dexter Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Founded as a meat market in 1952, the Knight family opened their first restaurant in 1984. With two more locations downtown and in Jackson, Michigan, Knight’s hasn’t forgotten its beginnings. The meat market is still open in its original location, serving a tremendous selection of cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry. There is also an on-site deli and bakery where one can grab a muffin, soup or sandwich. Photo
2324 Dexter Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

5. Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

304 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Featured on such shows as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man v. Food, as well as populating lists of the country’s best hamburgers, Blimpy Burger opened in 1953. Known for lines out the door, the original location was shuttered in 2013 when University of Michigan bought the land and building on which the business ran. It recently reopened on Ashley Street to much fanfare. Come prepared: there’s a method to ordering, and instructions can be found on their website. Photo
304 S Ashley St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

6. Heidelberg

215 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Whether eating in Heidelberg's Alpine Dining Room or drinking beer in their Rathskellar, this German-inspired establishment has been a town and college favorite since 1961. With many German and Michigan beers on tap, don’t forget to drink it from their signature vesse—the Das Boot—a large glass boot containing two liters of beer. Photo
215 N Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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