Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street
Wilhelm Metzger and Christian Kuhn had been in the U.S. for only a few years when they and Wilhelm's wife Marie rented the German American Restaurant from the Flautz family in 1928. The Metzgers, their two children, and Kuhn, a bachelor, lived on the floor above. Working from 6 a.m. to midnight, they served three meals a day, 364 days a year, closing only for Christmas.
In 1936, when the Flautzes returned from Germany, the Metzgers and Kuhn opened Metzger's German American Restaurant two blocks away at 203 East Washington. The "German American" was dropped as anti-German sentiment grew before World War II.
In 1946 Wilhelm Metzger's brother Fritz, who was operating the German Inn on West Huron, purchased the Old German Restaurant (above right) from Gottlob Schumacher. After 1950 Wilhelm's other brother Gottfried, who owned the Deluxe Bakery, supplied special dark pumpernickel bread to both Metzger's and the Old German.
Top image caption:
Wilhelm Metzger and friend at "The Oldest" German American Restaurant, 122 West Washington, ca. 1930
Top image lower left inset caption:
Top image lower right inset caption:
German wood carving commissioned by Wilhelm in 1938 for Metzger's Restaurant. "Gut Trinken und Essen tu nicht vergessen!"
Bottom left image caption:
Sauerkraut, pig hocks, Sauerbraten, Wiener Schnitzel, Spaetzle—and beer of course—were found in both Metzger's and the Old German restaurants. They served families as well as a range of diners—from factory workers with meal cards in the Depression 1930s to servicemen practicing their German in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s the UM Glee Club regularly ate and sang at Metzger's after practice. By the 1960s, Wilhelm's son Walter and Fritz's son Bud were running two of the most popular restaurants in town, with lines to get in. The Old German closed in 1995. Metger's moved to Scio Township in 2000 and continued with the help of the fourth generation of Metzgers.
Bottom right image caption:
Metzger family members and staff. Top row: Marie, third from left; Christian Kuhn, third from right. Bottom row: Young Walter Metzger on left.
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1928.
Location. 42° 16.849′ N, 83° 44.98′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is on Ashley Street north of West Washington Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 South Ashley Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (here, next to this marker); The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Germans on Ashley Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Eating and Drinking in Ann Arbor (within shouting distance of this marker); Dry Goods (within shouting distance of this marker); Hardware (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Interurbans to Buses (about 300 feet away); Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Our Life Story (Lebenslaufe). History of Metzger's German Restaurant on the restaurant's website. (Submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.