Video: Owners of The Rocket, Wurst Bar, Bona Sera Cafe and Jacobsen Daniels Associates talk candidly about doing business in Ypsilanti

Given that we just crossed over into National Masturbation Month, I thought that I’d share a titillating video this evening.

Unfortunately, Linette has the parental controls set in such a way that it’s impossible me for me to do that, though.

So, instead, here’s video of me on the stage at Woodruff’s a few days ago, interviewing Annette “Bad Fairy” Weathers (Bona Sera Cafe), Eli Morrissey (The Rocket), Jesse Kranyak (Wurst Bar), and Darryl Daniels (Jacobsen Daniels Associates) about what it was that compelled them to start businesses in Ypsilanti, what advice they’d offer to other budding entrepreneurs, and where they see opportunities in the future. (I wouldn’t exactly call it titillating, but those of you who stick around until the end will be rewarded with a robust, multi-person defense of a certain local strip club.)

[Special thanks to Jeff Meyers and Paul Schutt at Concentrate Media for making this event happen, Roger Rayle for videotaping everything, Hasan Mihyar and the staff of Woodruff’s for being such good hosts, and everyone who chose to spend their afternoon in the audience, instead of outside in the sunshine.]

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  1. anonymous
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    So am I supposed to masturbate to this or not? I’m confused.

  2. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t want to blurt it out in the middle of the discussion, but if I had to name one thing that I would think keeps EMU students from leaving campus and exploring downtown is the condition of the neighborhood along Emmet Street. It’s never been great since I’ve lived here, but back in ’99 I didn’t feel nearly as sketched out walking through there at night as I do now. It seems like it kind of tanked out when Peninsular Place opened, and it hasn’t recovered. It’s not a very attractive area, it doesn’t feel safe a lot of the time, and it is right smack in the heart of the city. Find a way to clean it up from Washtenaw to Washington, get some students back into more of those apartments, and I think you could have a huge impact on student traffic downtown. Maybe if apartment houses could be eligible for the next round of DDA facade grants….

  3. Steve Swan
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I had today set aside for the new Teen Mom sex tape (, but I guess I could try this first.

  4. Elliott
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It was encouraging to hear several of them mention that they were seeing more EMU students downtown than ever before.

    Also, I will not be celebrating Masturbation Month out of respect for Chrissy Amphlett, the lead singer of Australian rock group Divinyls, who died a few weeks ago.

  5. karen
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    it was nice to hear that despite what some dda hating assholes have been saying for years that it’s easy to do business in ypsilanti. way to go teresa gillotti. you rock!

  6. 734
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    My favorite part? The part where you discuss the shitty tax prep places downtown that are only in business 6 weeks out of the year to rape the poor.

  7. Salty Dog
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    If any of these business owners see this, I’d like to know their thoughts on what would work on the block between Bona Sera and the all nude dance club.

  8. Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    What in the fuck does the Chamber do? Between this panel, your earlier post on Small & Mighty, and yesterday’s post on The Shed, I’m left wondering what the Chamber actually does other than lobby for less taxes. There’s so much good work being done, and so much more to do, but where are they?

  9. Rob Hess
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for helping put this together. Lots of great information in this, and so great to see a room full of folks interested in the future of Ypsi. Sorry I couldn’t make it.

  10. Tommy
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    at the 3:29 mark – free beer! Thank you underwriters. i am so at the next one of these at Conor’s

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