The Allen Rumsey Supper Club: Throwback Restaurant In The Graduate Hotel

. November 1, 2016.
allenrumsey

Graduate Ann Arbor has opened the Allen Rumsey Supper Club, the hotel’s signature supper club-style restaurant. Located in the hotel at 615 E. Huron Street, the restaurant is a retro take on familiar flavors of suppers long ago, stoked with local ingredients from native farms and nearby purveyors. The name Allen Rumsey is a nod to the founders of Ann Arbor – John Allen and Elisha Rumsey.

The Supper Club is a warm and welcoming 104-seat eatery, affording the opportunity to mix and mingle at a communal table to cozy up in a booth for a more intimate experience.  While guests enjoy classic supper club dishes, chandeliers light the scene and a jukebox filled with 45s plays, creating an environment that immediately makes patrons feel welcome.

“Ann Arbor’s culinary scene has evolved tremendously over the past few years and we’re thrilled to introduce Allen Rumsey Supper Club as an exciting new offering,” said Executive Chef Loren Halprin. “The combination of the cuisine, heartfelt service and atmosphere is meant to embrace locals and the city’s many incoming visitors, ensuring everyone feels like a regular, while nightly programming ensures that returning guests never grow tired.”

Chef Halprin has crafted a menu inspired by the lore of the classic supper club, with offerings including a Lazy Susan of pickles, relishes, breads and spreads, and Caesar Salad prepared tableside; fresh Great Lakes’ catches such as Lake Superior Whitefish and Lake Erie Perch, numerous cuts of steaks and meats including Filet Mignon and S&S Farms Lamb Chops, all complemented by hearty, classic sides of creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and more.

Current Magazine talked with Chef Halprin about the new venture.

Current: What has been the response from the community so far?
Chef Halprin: So far pretty quiet, but the marketing blitz hasn’t really pushed yet.  What we’ve gotten in the door is a group of people with a lot of nostalgic feelings, as the concepts are all about bringing back that feeling.

Have you found that localities have varied tastes according the city or location?
Absolutely. Salty, not salty. Dressed versus overdressed. I’ve worked at a lot of restaurants over my career – I believe this is number 19, if I remember correctly – and every local has been different.

What inspired you to get into this business?
My family, actually: my grandfather and great uncle were in the hotel/restaurant business – it skipped a generation – and, strangely enough, I’m the only one out of this generation that went this route. But I have my mother to thank. She went and found me a job at 14 years-old and said, “You’re going to work as a busboy.” And I was a busboy. And then the cook didn’t show up, and I got dragged into the line and was told, “Here, flip this burger.” So, here we are, 27 years later.

Can you tell us about the decision to open the restaurant?
The concept decision came from the owners of the hotel; they saw it as that nostalgic piece that was going to work and they saw Ann Arbor as a place that was going to latch on to that.  And I believe that they’re right. As much as the concept from the menu is mine, the concept of the restaurant came from the owners. It’s very Midwestern traditional. Large steaks, hearty plates.

This concept, and the entire supper club concept, relies upon the focus on the center of the plate – and just the simplicity of the food. I think that when you buy great ingredients, prepare them perfectly, and let them speak for themselves.

Allen Rumsey Supper Club | open from 5pm – 10pm
Sunday through Thursday | and 5pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday
For more information, call 734-769-4225 or visit
graduateannarbor.com