The Best Of Everything
A nostalgic look at restaurants and restaurateurs of yesteryear.
more than what fishermen's
wives could make of the
Restaurant in Keego
unsold portions of the
Harbor was the site of
mostly Cajun food ...
ONE OF THE FEA-
He was born in New Iberia,
TURES at Shanghai
Louisiana ... and later was host
Shapiro's, owned in West
of the "Friday Feast" on
Bloomfield by Henry Yee,
WXYZ-TV ... The location is
former mayor of Chinatown
now that of the upscale Jeremy
in Detroit, and local deli
gent In, Greenberg, was
AS A TEENAGER in 1970, Local Columnist called "Fancy Shmancy
growing up in the area, Candy
Dishes" ... and its fortune
Gotts would go to Duffy's On
cookies had Jewish proverbs.
the Lake, on Cooley Lake Road, to
HE USED TO OWN a little 22-
hear the Loving Cup with Marlene
seater Biff's in Birmingham ... and the
Hill ... 17 years later, she was there
car wash next door ... After learning of
again ... with her husband, Jim Gotts
a restaurant in Las Vegas called the
... for the Loving Cup's four-week
Lemon Peel, John Kales came back...
engagement ... Only this time as its
pulled out all the car wash mecha-
nisms ... and made it into a full-
THE SCRAPBOOKS of Turk
fledged restaurant ... coffee shop ...
Prujan in Los Angeles were huge and
and then expanding into a full Greek
filled ... There was even an article
about 17-year-old Herman Prujans
A FACT THAT MANY people still
when little Rosalyn Roberts was one of
don't know is that Bud Sherbow, for-
the children endangered on West
mer manager at London Chop House,
Philadelphia Avenue after fire broke
Scotch 'n Sirloin, Buddy's Pizza, etc.,
out in the apartment building ... Her
at one time owned his own restaurant
father threw Rosalyn from a third-
... It was called the Impromptu in
story window and Turk caught her ...
He lay in bed for four weeks with a
NESTLED AWAY in an old Latin-
American area was probably one of the
WHEN HE OPENED his 1940
finest little restaurants in Detroit.
Chophouse in Detroit, people won-
When Aliette's Bakery opened,
dered where the 1940s theme and
that's all it was, a little French bakery
motif were from ... Owner Don Vargo
... But about 10 years or so later, it
said that it would not have been a bad
became both a bakery and restaurant
idea ... but the name came from its
... with seating for only 16.
address ... 1940 Jefferson.
This happened after she was with
THE FORMER OWNER of the
sister Marie and brother-in-law Michel
Benji Palmer School of Dance on
Bertin when they closed Le Bordeaux
Washington Boulevard in Detroit was
(previously Allo Paris) on Livernois in
a topnotch dance instructor, but his
Detroit ... Aliette's became a very good
true real love was as a restaurateur ...
restaurant, but her husband, Carvil
After sailing the French and Italian
Benson, wasn't exactly the most love-
Rivieras on his son's 65-foot yacht out
able sort of host.
of Monaco, the owner of Benji's
HIDDEN AWAY BEHIND a secret
Seafood & Fish restaurant, Benji
door at T.B.Q.'s Other Place in
Pearlman, returned with "A Touch of
Windsor was a room that sat 50 peo-
France" for his dining spot, Benji's
ple ... it was called the Library Room
Seafood & Fish in Keego Harbor.
... and seating was not guaranteed ...
Benji featured the classical French
But you rubbed or pressed a tome on
soup, "The Big Mama of French
the book shelf ... and like magic it
Soups," bouillabaisse, which he said
opened as a door ... into a world of
dated back more than 2,000 years and
required 12 different kinds of fish that
IF YOUR CHILD or someone else's
could only come from Mediterranean
... or even adults ... said they wanted
waters ... and never demanded any
to go see the chipmunks, rabbits,
birds, etc., sitting on a
stump eating food,
chances were they
talked about the Lazy
Lion in Orion
Township, owned by
Central High grad
Noah Lambert and wife
THE WALLS WERE covered with
crate wood ... but Mario's Pizzeria in
Royal Oak opened for the food, not
its looks ... was noted for its pizza
until word got out about the Italian
specialties ... Then you couldn't get in
DON'T KNOW how many knew
what the new name of Glorious Food
in Bloomfield Hills, R.I.K.S, stood for
... but it was an acronym for the first
initials of the three owner's first names
... Rick Halberg, Ira Mondry and Ken
Fink ... Today, Rick is sole owner of
Emily's fine restaurant in Northville.
THE EATERY restaurant in
Southfield, owned by Howard Tapper,
Dr. Michael Gotleib and Jeff Ishbia,
was patterned somewhat after a spot
in Royal Oak also called the Eatery ...
and owned by Ishbia ... It was the for-
mer Bagel Nosh, Nosh and Times S2
LOWRY'S in West Bloomfield was
one of the first places to have Seafood
Wellington ... It became a great
favorite, made by chef/owner Dan
Lowry ... salmon topped by a seafood
mousse of shrimp and scallops with
fresh spinach mousse ... all wrapped in
a homemade puffed pastry.
CLOSING OF SHULER'S in West
Bloomfield came as a sudden surprise
... deposits for 45 banquets had to be
returned ... leaving many in a frenzied
lurch ... If nothing else, it didn't serve
frozen food anymore ... The location
is today's E.G. Nick's.
SIXTH NEW owner of the spot in
Oak Park called Spiro's brought some-
thing different to the little 35-seater
George Golematis was the first one
with so much gourmet dining experi-
ence ... Food and beverage manager at
St. Regis Hotel, waiter at London
Chop House, manager at Benchmark
in Michigan Inn and banquet captain
at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn.
He had been given an award at St.
Regis for tableside cooking ... and
hanging at the Benchmark was the
nationwide Silver Menu Award given
with George selecting dinner items.
Today, George owns the popular
Giorgio's Gourmet Diner in West
DIMITRI "JIMMY" SYROS was
known as the "restaurateur with ants
in his pants" ... He opened his
Dimitri's of Southfield with authentic
Greek cooking ... and it was a success
... until he again began playing around
with new concepts ... Italian, chop
house and other fancy ideas ... Jimmy
returned it to the Greek restaurant
that it opened as ... but never again
achieved the same success.
THE OWNERS OF Larco Brothers
in Detroit, Pete, Nick and Mike's
memories continued to linger ... as
Pete's son, Mark, opened Larco Bros.
Carry-Out in Southfield ... and the
picture on the wall as you entered of
Pete, Nick and Mike never allowed
people to forget them.
THERE WAS A "Smoker's Price
List" at the Blue Nile Ethiopian
restaurant in Greektown 25 cents
for the first cigarette butt per
person/every additional cigarette butt
30 cents ... If pregnant women or chil-
dren under 5 were at the Blue Nile, it
was 50 and 75 cents.
Cigars were $5 for the first 3-inch ...
cigar and $2 per additional inch.
Pregnant women were not allowed to
smoke cigars ... Pipe was the same
price as cigarettes, with a one-time
light-up charge of $5 ... All proceeds
went to the American Lung
Blue Nile, owned by Ethiopian Jew
Seifu Lessenwork, is now on W. Nine
Mile in Ferndale.
OWNERS JACK AND HARRI-
ETT Goldberg at their new Stage &
Co. delicatessen in West Bloomfield
didn't stand around counting people
... They were also a couple of behind-
the-scenes workers ... Once a week,