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Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location
Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location - Doug Coombe | Show Photo

Development News

Cafe Zola owners to open new Washtenaw Ave bistro in August

For the many devotees of Downtown Ann Arbor's Café Zola, the only answer to "What's better than Zola?" is, "more Zola."
 
That wish will soon be coming true, as a new restaurant by Café Zola owners Hediye Batu and Alan Zakalik is coming to the Arbor Hills Crossing development now underway on Washtenaw Avenue. 
 
"It will be a lot like Café Zola," says Zakalik. "We're still trying to work it out, but 'Zola' will be in the name." 
 
The idea for a second location was triggered when the developers approached Zakalik and Batu. After reviewing the other businesses planned for the retail and dining center, they decided a new Zola would fit right in.
 
"I was worried for awhile about opening a second restaurant that was too similar to what we do here," Zakalik says, "but the development is far enough from downtown that it shouldn't impact us. It will give us a different base of people who don’t usually come downtown on a regular basis."
 
Zakalik expects the Arbor Hills Crossing location to be ready for the new Zola to begin their build-out in late April, and the restaurant to open by Aug. 22. The restaurant will be 10 to 15 percent larger than the downtown location with a bigger bar, indoor seating for 130 and patio seating for about 40 diners. Zakalik expects to hire a staff of approximately 50 to operate the new bistro. 

Source: Alan Zakalik, Cafe Zola
Writer: Natalie Burg
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