Endearing Bar Decor Softens Shame of Alcoholism

The owners hopes the bar will be a “safe haven” for victims of addiction.

During a soft opening for the Pretzel Bell last Wednesday, bar owners Michelle and Don Morrow described the reclaimed wood panels and historic black-and-white photographs that adorn the walls of their newest restaurant venture as “welcome distractions” from patrons’ egregious binge drinking and alcohol dependence.

The couple has spent the last six months meticulously decorating, furnishing, and painting the interior to meet the needs of their customers. “We’re using lots of found objects from Ann Arbor localities to give the place some real charm,” said Michelle. “I think it’ll be a really welcoming environment for people who want to drink away their best years.”

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from Ann Arbor citizens who really care about their city and its history,” added Don. “We hope that the exposed brick walls and vintage U of M memorabilia reignite some of the old late-night traditions on campus, and give our patrons the means of escaping the overwhelming shame and social stigma that accompanies a BAC of 0.3% or higher.”

The Morrows are planning to open to the public in late April with a celebration. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, lots of games and maybe karaoke,” said Michelle. “Winners will get free shots and, for once, a viable excuse to drink themselves into oblivion.”

At press time, the Morrows were hanging a set of reclaimed galvanized steel chandeliers that would provide “the perfect level” of ambient lighting to help patrons hide from the public eye.

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