Ypsilanti Citizen Community Sidetrack

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Celebrities gone, not forgotten

Actress Minnie Driver posed for several photos with employees and patrons at Aubree's in Depot Town Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Aubree's staff

Actress Minnie Driver posed for several photos with employees and patrons at Aubree's in Depot Town Wednesday afternoon.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Depot Town filming finished Wednesday evening

By Christine Laughren
Apr. 3, 2009    ·    1:35 a.m.

The star trailers have rolled out with the semi-trucks and the floodlights are gone. But Ypsilanti still has Hollywood fever.

With the recent filming of “Betty Anne Waters” at Sidetrack Bar and Grill in Depot Town, residents are beginning to recap their star encounters.

“I was like a deer in headlights,” said Aubree’s general manager Sean McFhane of his run-in with actress Minnie Driver. “She was absolutely beautiful and intimidating.”

“Betty Anne Waters,” starring Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Driver, is based on the true story of a working mother in Massachusetts, who puts herself through law school to represent her brother after his murder conviction.

Sidetrack was closed Tuesday and Wednesday and transformed into Aidan’s Pub, as Ann Arbor-based Innocence Productions helped to shoot scenes of Swank working as a bartender and waitress.

Linda French, owner of Sidetrack, said the production company looked at six other bars in the area during the course of three months.

A New Year’s Eve scene was shot at the bar and more than once evening passers-by could hear the New Year’s countdown as pale, bright, lights flooded the buildings in Depot Town. Swank, in the role of Betty Anne Waters, also worked behind Sidetrack’s bar for a few scenes.

French’s daughter Jessica, who served as an extra during the shooting, said she was amazed to see Sidetrack’s interior look altered for the movie.

“Having seen that space through so many different transformations… that was what really awestruck me,” she said. “It really felt like New Year’s in a different space.”

To make Sidetrack appear as more of an east-coast bar, Jessica said a lot of nautical and Boston-themed decorations were hung. She also said much of the Sidetrack items were taken down along with pictures that may reflect during the shooting.

“It definitely didn’t look like the Sidetrack but the core elements were there,” she said.

Much of the furniture in the restaurant stayed for the shooting and the producers used Sidetrack meals as the prop food. But Jessica said you won’t see any Sidetrack T-shirts hanging on the wall when the movie is released.

Sandee French, owner of Aubree’s, Cady’s and Sitcks, said the production company used Cady’s Grill and Bar as headquarters for hair, makeup and costumes. It also used Sticks as its catering headquarters for the cast and crew.

Sandee, who resides in Florida for the winter, said she was sad to miss the celebrities in town. But she said Thursday afternoon, she has already heard stories of Swank and Driver waiving and blowing kisses to her employees and customers.

McFhane said he originally was worried business would be slow during the shooting, as many of the parking spaces around Depot Town were closed off with orange cones and caution tape. But he said business was more than brisk both days.

“We did really well,” he said.

Jim Karnopp, owner of Café Luwak, said his coffee sales sky-rocketed during the shoot.

Many said they were sad to see the cast and crew pack up and leave, with only a lift in the Depot’s parking lot to remind us of their presence.

“I’m sad to see that it’s gone because we had a great time the whole time,” McFhane said.

Jessica said she had a lot of fun watching the movie being made and hopes to see more studios in town in the future.

“I’m just really glad that film production is starting to pick up in the area,” Jessica said. “I can’t wait to see how the industry flourishes in Ypsilanti.”

The filming of “Betty Anne Waters” is the second time Ypsilanti has been home to major motion picture shoot, with the filming of “Whip It,” starring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page, this summer. “Whip It,” about a girl who discovers the sport of roller derby in her small Texas community, is set for release this fall.

“Betty Anne Waters” is also set for release this year.

Related stories:

Sidetrack featured in Hillary Swank movie

Betty Anne Waters’ filming on Michigan Avenue

More filming in Ypsilanti

SESI Motors
Roots Jamboree

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