Vinsetta Garage owners may convert Ann Arbor's Fingerle Lumber into a brewpub


Fingerle Lumber's warehouse on Fifth St. in Ann Arbor. - ANDREW HIYAMA
  • Andrew Hiyama
  • Fingerle Lumber's warehouse on Fifth St. in Ann Arbor.

The family-owned Fingerle Lumber of Ann Arbor, with its sheet-metal walls and reclaimed wood paneling, may be surprisingly well-suited for the brewpub seeking to replace it.

Fingerle, which has operated continually since 1931, is owned by brothers John and Mark Fingerle, who told MLive in November 2018, that they planned to retire and sell the business, which sits on sought after property near Michigan Stadium. Within one week, the University of Michigan Board of Regents voted to purchase nearly 7 acres of their property for $24 million, according to MLive.

Fingerle owns another 45,000-square-foot site at 545 South Main St. which could soon become a two-story restaurant and brewery, according to a city planning commission application submitted in February, MLive first reported.

The proposed development will need approval from multiple boards, but if it goes according to plan, the massive metal shed that currently occupies the space could become the next popular brewpub in an increasingly microbrew-saturated town.

Floor plans in the proposal include space for a bar, lunch counter, private dining area and retail space on the main floor. The second floor would house another bar, dining area, and rooftop seating.

The developer named in the planning application is Arbor Bar, LLC, which is owned by Curt Catallo, who owns a half-dozen restaurants in Oakland and Genesee counties such as Vinsetta Garage in Berkley and Clarkston Union in Clarkston. He’s built a reputation over the years for establishing fine eateries in redeveloped buildings.

The potential unnamed beerhouse would join a brigade of Ann Arbor-area breweries that includes Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery, Biercamp, Arbor Brewing Company, among others.

Will Feuer is an editorial intern for Metro Times.

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