Nestled in a quiet street among neighborhood houses in the Old West Side, only blocks away from the bustle of campus, The Jefferson Market is a local community establishment for the lucky individuals who frequent it on a regular basis. The breakfast and lunch spot remains a cornerstone of the local Ann Arbor community. If you haven’t been to The Jefferson Market yet, add it to the top of your list of places to visit. I guarantee you it will be worth it.

Sophie Grand

The restaurant saw a change in ownership in 2019 when current owners Ed Green and Angie May purchased the place, after being charmed by its quaintness and neighborhood appeal. Green and May moved to Ann Arbor from the Bay Area, CA, where they both worked at Bette’s Oceanview Diner for over a decade and a half. After managing the restaurant together for a number of years, the duo moved on to opening up their own place.

Green and May were drawn to restaurant work because of the high energy, teamwork, and social interaction that comes with the job. After working for 16 years at Bette’s, Angie’s passion for working with people remains clear. She described Bette’s as a “highly functional dysfunctional family,” where people worked there for decades.

May explains, “We wanted to come here and create an environment where people could stay for a long time and feel good doing it.”

The Jefferson Market checked all their boxes.

Green said, “We found it on the internet, flew out, saw it, and it was exactly what we were looking for.” He continued, “If this would have been a restaurant downtown, I doubt we would have said ‘yea, we should do this.’ I think the neighborhood charm was what we were looking for.”

The residential locality of The Jefferson Market makes it unique, and it has become a mainstay for locals and college students. According to Angie, many of the customers are regulars and show up routinely each week.

She explains, “There are people that come every Thursday, or order every Saturday morning. It’s like clockwork, and it’s great. They know our names and we know theirs, and there is something about it that feels so comforting.”


It was because of the community, May describes, that The Jefferson Market remained afloat and successful during the pandemic, despite only being open for 9 months prior to Covid’s emergence.

May explains, “The community got to know us a little bit before that happened [shutting down due to Covid] and was super supportive. As far as being in a residential area, it benefited us at the beginning of the pandemic because people didn’t want to go downtown.”

The restaurant closed for two months when the pandemic began, and then reopened and served to-go orders for a while, and eventually resumed their outdoor dining options. Since Covid, to-go orders have primarily kept the market in business. Green and May’s decision to postpone fully reopening The Market until Covid fully settled down reflects their commitment to the safety and well-being of their staff.

May said, “With a lack of staff and the narrow inside area, the idea of 48 people eating without masks on at the same time is a little daunting. We want to make sure that as a small business with not very many staff, we really need to take care of them and ourselves.”

Since the start of the pandemic, The Jefferson Market has increased the quantity of their to-go orders by 75 percent. Like most restaurants, they are still dealing with the effects of increased food and goods prices and supply chain issues. May explained how prices of meat, eggs, butter, and bacon, among other food products, have gone up exponentially and cited instances when the restaurant has been unable to get certain types of meat, like brisket or pork butt

Looking forward, the pair hopes to be able to bring back to-go dinners, reintroduce weekly specials, and extend the hours back to 5 days a week. Despite the chaos and unprecedented nature of the last few years, Green and May have truly created a place to be proud of. The Jefferson Market holds a special place in the Ann Arbor community as a delicious, friendly, and inviting local spot.

The Menu:

The menu features an assortment of breakfast and lunch options, as well as pastries and drinks.

Sophie Grand

Owners favorite: Corn Beef Hash

Most popular: Corn Beef Hash, Huevos Rancheros, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

My favorites: Avocado Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Burrito, Buttermilk Pancakes