In today’s world of restaurant chains and conglomerates, it’s wonderful and unique to find a family owned AND operated business on Ann Arbor’s Main Street amidst those corporately owned.

Black Pearl Ann Arbor’s owners have lived, worked and locally supported the community for decades.

Black Pearl opened it’s doors on 09/18/08 so the owners, Harry and Jan Ziegelman Cohen could provide a unique and accessible place where people can gather with friends, family or strangers and be uplifted by the food, the service, the music and the beautiful ambiance.

Jan, degreed in Graphic Design and Photography, uses her artistic sensibilities to make the overall vibe of Black Pearl a beautiful, warm, inviting, and uplifting place for customers and staff alike.

Harry is a psychologist who travels the country giving talks to executives on leadership, customer service, and personal development.

“Launching Black Pearl Ann Arbor was a perfect opportunity to create an environment that embodies the essence of what I talk about; welcoming people with love, creating a great place to work, and delivering a memorable experience.”

The unique ambience of Black Pearl is one of the reasons people love to hang out there and Jan is forever looking for ways to enhance that experience for everyone.

Although the business is family owned, it doesn’t mean the staff is treated as seconds. They are family as well, and bring along their own familial aspect to the business.

As General Manager, Michael Hole had worked the better part of two decades in the hospitality business before coming to Black Pearl. But that’s only a part of his experience when you consider his mother, during his formative years, was a manager partner in several local restaurants. He’s grown up and experienced the kitchen, the bar and the front of the house before overseeing all that is Black Pearl today.

Another important member of the family, who you might say had the restaurant business in his blood at an early age, is Chef James Wilhelm. A native Detroit eastsider, he was fourteen when he began working at Andiamo Trattoria. Here he learned the importance of made-from-scratch cooking. He’s used his talents to, not only earn a Bronze medal in the American Culinary Federation, but bring unique flavors to the Black Pearl menu.

Family owned means locally grown, in our own basement! That may sound a little suspicious but when you see how a basement can be transformed into a grow room for microgreens, you can no longer discount how fresh vegetables can enhance a dish. Black Pearl Gardens hosts local farmers dedicated to growing and serving our community (especially Black Pearl) the healthiest produce possible. How could it get more fresh when it comes from cut to plate within 20 feet?

Drop by, say hi, eat well and after the welcoming service, some tasty crafted cocktails and a luscious dining experience you’ll no longer feel like a guest but become a part of the family.