Builder of the Fleetwood Diner; died 1978.

Donald B. Reid in 1948 petitioned the city for a change in the building code to permit him to erect a $14,000 diner at the corner of S. Ashley and W. Liberty Streets.  The code change was necessary because the 16-foot-by-32-foot structure was to be built of porcelain and stran-steel. There was no provision for such material in the city's building code of that day.

Reid had the material for his restaurant, the Dag-Wood Diner, trucked in from Toledo.  The building was erected in the fall and winter months of 1948 and early 1949. Two months after the opening he placed tables on the sidewalk in front of his restaurant and erected shade umbrellas over the tables and chairs. He called the arrangement the city's first "sidewalk cafe."

Reid operated the diner for 17 years and helped organize the Washtenaw Restaurant Association. He later served as district governor of the Michigan Restaurant Association.

Reid sold the diner to Robert Brown in 1966 and died in 1978. He worked until retirement as manager of the National Furnace Company. Mark Hodesh bought the Dag-Wood in 1971 and renamed it the Fleetwood. At that time the diner had been used for a variety of non-diner purposes, including as a prep kitchen for vending machine sandwiches. Hodesh later returned to Ann Arbor and now owns Downtown Home & Garden, across the street. The Fleetwood has been owned by George Fotiadis and Adi Demiri since 1992. It is always open, except for occasional holidays.


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