A perennial winner of Taste of Ann Arbor awards including "Best Entrée" and "Best of Show," it's no stretch to say Ann Arbor loves The Black Pearl
. Beginning in early 2014, more diners will be able to get more of the food they crave as The Black Pearl expands by 50 percent, adding room for 40 to 50 new seats.
"We do get a lot of calls for parties, and we're a little too small to accommodate more than 50 people without closing for the event," says The Black Pearl Bar Manager Matthew Pietryga. "It's not just going to be set up for private functions though, but also for busy nights, especially in the summer."
The expansion will be into half of the former Seyfried Jewelers location. According to Pietryga, the bar considered expanding into the entire space, but was hesitant to over-expand. When the option became available to grow into half of the space, it became the perfect opportunity.
"Otherwise we may have been a little oversized. The bigger you are doesn't mean the more people will come," says Pietryga. "Right now, everything is good; business is up from last year, which is good. But every few months or so there is more competition."
The new space in The Black Pearl will be used both for overflow and for private parties, and while it will have a similar feel to the main restaurant, it will have slightly different decor and amenities, including carpeting, different tables and a multi-media center for presentations and events.
Pietryga says work on the space will begin in January. They hope to have work completed within a couple of months, but have an April goal set to be ready in preparation for graduation season. With the extra diners Pietryga estimates three to four additional servers will be added to the staff.
Source: Matthew Pietryga, The Black Pearl
Writer: Natalie Burg