is one of the best vibes players
Arthur Smith, West Bloomfield
Leo's Coney Island
Various metro Detroit locations
"They have a wide variety of menu
items, which makes it easy to take my
entire family out to dinner. We go to
the Leo's on Orchard Lake Road."
Mel Ball and Colours is a 10-piece group that spe-
cializes in high-energy music for weddings, b'nai
mitzvah, and corporate and charity events.
Founded by Mel Ball 15 years ago, the group has
performed for four U.S. presidents and participat-
ed in last year's Super Bowl activities. The band
features four lead singers. Their music ranges
from Top 40 to big band, Sinatra-style tunes.
Claim To Fame: Mel Ball and Colours is known
for their innate ability to keep the energy flowing
consistently throughout any event.
Other Choices: Joe Cornell, Simone Vitale
A growing force in the Coney world, Leo's Coney
Island has 20 area locations. Leo Stassinopolous
started the business in Southfield about 30 years
ago. The food choices include soups, salads,
sandwiches, Coney combinations, omelets, Greek
specialties and daily lunch and dinner specials.
Leo's is a comfortable neighborhood restaurant
noted for its quick service and inexpensive prices.
Claims To Fame: Chicken Caesar salad, gyros
sandwiches, Greek salad, lemon rice soup
Other Choices: Greek Islands, Lafayette
Breath of Spring
"They did my son's wedding, and it
was magnificent. Their flowers are
always fresh and beautiful. When I
order by phone, I can always depend
on them to send something lovely."
Barbara Golds, West Bloomfield
NIGHT ON THE TOWN
The Corner in the Townsend Hotel
"The Corner is a great place to go for
people-watching, or to enjoy a quiet
drink or a bite to eat in a classy set-
ting. The crowd is very chic."
Art Goldman, Rochester Hills
The Corner, located within the Townsend Hotel,
features a blend of stainless steel, rich mahogany,
pewter, mosaic tiles and beveled glass mirrors.
The bar seats 87 people, providing an intimate
setting for customers to enjoy a choice of more
than 100 different kinds of martinis and cocktail
creations as well as a selection of boutique-style
wines. Small plate dining is available, with an
emphasis on Asian-influenced dishes.
Claim To Fame: The Mojito, a refreshing Cuban
drink made with rum, fresh mint and sugar cane.
Other Choices: Blue Martini, Big Rock, Edison's
"It has a very sophisticated crowd and
fantastic dance music. And, of course,
they make a great martini. I love the
Valerie Ettinger, West Bloomfield
One of the newest additions to the Birmingham
bar scene is the Blue Martini, located next to the
Palladium theater. The interior features blue light-
ing, with an elevated stage behind the bar for the
live band that provides high-energy music for
dancing or mingling. The martinis, served in over-
sized glasses, come in a multitude of flavors, from
the traditional to the exotic.
Claim To Fame: The Birmingham establishment
is modeled after the popular Blue Martini in Palm
Other Choices: Big Rock
Big Rock Chop and Brew House
"I would describe the cigar bar at the
16 • sot•RcEBooK
Top: Brad Sloan, 8, of West Bloomfield
enjoys a corned beef sandwich at
Above: Waitress Heather Hulett and
Buddy's owner Robert Jacobs with
patrons James Deutchman of
Farmington Hills and Joseph N. Epel of
Big Rock as tres chic. The crowd is
very upscale, and the music is good.
It's a great place to go even if you're
not a cigar smoker"
Joel Schwartz, West Bloomfield
The Big Rock Chop and Brew House, located on
the historic site of the former Birmingham train
station, offers patrons a choice of venues that
include a main dining room, piano bar and cigar
lounge. Decorated in a hunting lodge theme, the
restaurant specializes in prime steaks as well as
seafood. Homemade beer is made in the Big
Rock's own brewery.
Claim To Fame: The Big Rock has won the pres-
tigious Wine Spectator award for the last four
years in a row.
Other Choices: Capital Grille
Mel Ball and Colours
"I've listened to the group for a long
time, and they're very smooth. They
have a great variety of music, and Mel
Breath of Spring is a full-service florist specializ-
ing in weddings, b'nai mitzvah and other special
occasions. Individual floral arrangements and
delivery are also available. The business, which
has been owned by Bruce Bolton for the last 28
years, has a large assortment of props, including
candelabras and antique furniture.
Claim To Fame: Variety — every party done by
Breath of Spring has a different theme and
Other Choices: Kay Masuda, Gerych's, Blossoms
"He did our wedding, and he was
great, very personable and profes-
sional, and he remembered the
names of everyone in our bridal
Leslie Baron, Farmington Hills
Ron Lieberman, who runs his studio with his wife,
Lori, specializes in photographing weddings, b'nai
mitzvah and other simchas as well as group and
individual photos of families, children, graduates
and executives. Ron began his career by holding
lights for his father, Chuck Lieberman, who started
the business in 1972.
Claim To Fame: Ron is known for his incredible
ability to memorize the names of family members
and other significant participants at every event.
Other Choices: Marty Abrin (Classic
Photography), Gorback Studio of Photography,
Gary Miller, David Deutsch
Newman Video Inc.
"From the moment I called him, David
Newman was very professional. He's
reasonable in price, and the quality
and service he gives are excellent.
Brad Urdan, Southfield
Since 1995, Newman Video Inc. has provided
READERS' CHOICE on page 18