“My love affair and vision for this project began the first time I stepped foot on the property when, in 2013, my husband William and I married and moved into a house in the woods nearby. Having lived in Ann Arbor since 2007, I’d heard plenty of stories about the famous The Lord Fox and we would occasionally visit Roger Monks, the tired neighborhood eatery that took its place after an epic, 60 some year run.
Prior to The Lord Fox years, the barn was home to another popular roadside restaurant, The Farm Cupboard, who specialized in taking in weary travelers, pouring stiff cocktails during prohibition and for its famous Fried Chicken recipe for over 30 years.
This place was special - I could sense that from my very first visit. I was drawn to rich history that lay beneath the dust and disrepair. As I drove past or would stop in for dinner, I couldn’t help myself but daydream about what the property could look and feel like and the unique charm and potential of Dixboro Village.
I’d tell friends and family wild stories of how I would develop the site and what kind of restaurant it ought to be and how that would transform the Village, to have a destination restaurant there once again. The kind you’d see on the roadside in Hudson Valley, Napa or even the countryside in Europe. The daydreaming continued with no real intentions until I had learned that the restaurant had been clandestinely sold to buyers who had plans to convert the century-old restaurant farmhouse into an office space, erasing the 100 years of restaurant history and altering the vibe and future of Dixboro Village forever.
Before I knew it, my husband and I had become the owners of Ann Arbor’s most storied restaurant along with the 6.5 scenic acres it was set on; and we began developing The Dixboro Project which envelops our dining and recreational concepts as well as its periphery projects.
We imagined a much humbler project to begin with. A remodel and perhaps an expansion, we thought. Soon after we learned that the building and site would require much more than a remodel - it would need to be entirely redeveloped with a great responsibility in restoring and maintaining the land and its environs including a section of Fleming Creek that runs through the property – something that had been neglected for many years prior.
The scope and complexity of the project equally intrigued me and intimidated me, though we continued with a deep commitment to the legacy, the land and the highest quality food and services. As the restaurant spaces took shape, our vision became to create multiple dining concepts and styles that would make this a place you’ll remember, for any occasion. Our commitment and vision continue to expand as we lay the groundwork for another 100 years of restaurant history.
What an honor!