Ali Ramlawi is the owner of Jerusalem Garden, a downtown Ann Arbor restaurant on E. Liberty Street.
He was born in Detroit, grew up in Livonia and has lived in the Old West Side neighborhood for almost 20 years.
Ali’s roots in Ann Arbor go back to 1985 when he worked in his parents’ grocery store, Ralph’s Market, and then at Jerusalem Garden beginning in 1987.
In 1993, Ali was attending Michigan State University but withdrew in his freshman year and returned to Ann Arbor to run the family business after his father passed away.
Twenty-five years later, his restaurant continues to serve Ann Arbor’s diverse community of residents, downtown office workers, laborers and trade workers, University of Michigan students and staff, and visitors to Ann Arbor.
In 2015, Jerusalem Garden received the “Deals of the Year” Restaurant Award from MLive. Ali was recognized for the restaurant’s move into its new expanded space and his commitment to downtown Ann Arbor.
“Owner Ali Ramlawi took a risk and moved into a 5,000 square-foot restaurant after spending 27 years in a much smaller location in downtown Ann Arbor. The move worked as Ramlawi spent more than $750,000 to renovate and upgrade the former Seva restaurant and VFW Hall on East Liberty Street.” [Full Story]
– MLive, November 2015
“Ramlawi is a deep thinker on history, civics, and downtown economics, and almost any question is a trip wire for a larger discussion … (and) in the future he can see himself running for city council.” [Full Story]
– Ann Arbor Observer, June 2015
Ali has always been involved with our local community as a supporter of the Townie Art Fair Party, Suds on the River, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, the Huron Valley Humane Society, local radio stations as well as countless student groups from around the city. He actively supports Eli’s Place, Dawn Farms, ACLU, and American Red Cross, as well as others.