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March 01, 2012 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-03-01

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

The Chop's New Chapter

London Chop House's reopening stirs pleasant memories.

London Chop House
brought thanks from
Sylvia Stein but
turned into tears of
joy after she opened
a box attached to
the stuffed present
and discovered an
engagement ring
from Sid Fierman.
Bartender Jose
Reyes poured drinks
at the LCH bar
for Bea and Eddie
Rogovein, who often
sat there with Bea's
hands in a little "fur
muff" that was actu-
ally their Chow dog,
tiny Bikini, doing an
award-winning stay-
stillness with careful
One of Hy Vogel's drawings from the old London Bar in 1938
James Beard
called the noted
is walls and floors can't talk ...
London Chop House one of America's
Otherwise, they could tell many
10 best restaurants... And it was many
things that went on at the daily visits
times compared to New York's "21" Club
by the restaurant's virtual Who's Who list
... But to people like Lorraine and Sylvia,
of friends and world-famous celebrities.
The Chop will always be remembered as
News of the world-famous "New
the beginning of beautiful lives they had
Yorky"-style London Chop House restau- with Marty and Sid.
rant name being reincarnated no doubt
So many stories about the London
touched many people ... Located again
Chop House, whose name comeback is
downstairs in the basement of the same
exciting to those who once called it a
old Murphy Building stomping grounds,
second home ... And the generations
now called Murphy-Telegraph Building
who heard so much about it from their
on Congress, Detroit, The Chop will not
parents and grandparents that they, too,
be forgotten by numerous people like
would become customers when it recent-
Lorraine Blanck and Sylvia Fierman.
ly opened again to the general public.
Years back, Lorraine came to The Chop
Its two-day pre-opening events were
with a date who got a bit tipsy, and they
attended by capacity crowds, many
were driven home on the offer of Marty
dancing to a live band and enjoying
Blanck, who would later change her last
champagne, wine and cocktails plus an
name from Dennenberg to his by becom- excellent passed hors d'oeuvres selection
ing Lorraine's husband.
by Executive Chef Robert Scherer and
One of the stuffed animals sold at the
his kitchen staff ... Robert is only 26


but a Culinary Institute grad and previ-
pay bills ... along with the kitchen neces-
ously executive sous chef at Emeril's New sities, fixtures, booths, etc. ... It was later
Orleans Fish House in Las Vegas' MGM
reopened and closed as the Downtown
Grand Hotel ... In 1977,
London Chop House, owned by
when Jimmy Schmidt fol-
Maurice and Venetia Adams,
lowed Chef Pancho Valez at
and shuttered until now
the London Chop House, he
It is really too much to imag- •
was just 23.
ine the original great London
This is the fourth time
Chop House eventually being
that the London Chop House
brought back as it previously
name has been used by per-
was ... However, Nico Gatsaros
sons other than the Grubers
and his mom and dad, Ted and
and Al Woolf ... Its history
Maria Gatsaros, prominent
began back in 1926 when
Danny Raskin
longtime Detroit property
Les Gruber opened his Den
Senior C olurnnist developers, are making a fer-
of 40 Thieves on John R and
vent attempt and certainly
Broadway ... Then eight
deserve an A+ for trying.
years later, he renamed it London Bar,
MAIL DEPT. ... "I'm spending the
and four years after, when moved to
winter in Florida and have the Jewish
the Muiphy Building on W. Congress, it
News forwarded to me here. Upon read-
became the London Chop House ... In
ing about the food, etc., at Grangers
1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, both
[Reader Mini Review by Dennis Silber,
Les, his brother Sam and brother-in-law
Feb. 12] I made the long ride from Boca
Joe Wolfe jointly opened the Penobscot
Raton and found that the food, service
Club across the street ... When Les and
and ambience were well worth it. I am
Sam soon after entered the military, their a vegetarian and the veggie burger was
Penobscot Club was closed and Al took
fabulous, the best I've had in Florida.
over interim sole management of the
Thank you so much for the referral. I'm
London Chop House ... This together-
spreading the word" ... Diane Pomish
ness of Les, the food and wine expert,
Sam the businessman, and Joe, the host,
"You talked about Marvin's Museum and
was broken when Al passed on in 1960
Tally Hall, and it brought back memories.
... Les and Sam ran it until Les became
Didn't Tally Hall have a spot where you
ill, and in 1982 it was bought by his
could eat delicatessen and Chinese food
friends, owners of Hughes & Hatcher
at the same time?" ... Ernest Waserman.
... After Max passed on, Lainie found it
[Yes, Larry Kravitz owned Deli Place
tough sledding running LCH and sold
and next door's China Express ... It was
it to Detroit Heritage Fund and Heinz
normal to see people eating a corned beef
Prechter, who did what was said to be the sandwich with egg rolls or chow mein.]
restaurant's first major renovation in 50
CONGRATS ... To Sandy Hermanoff
on her birthday ... To Glen Rosenberg
In the The Chop's final days, the hun-
on his birthday ... To Jeffrey Sherbow on
dreds of wonderful caricatures drawn by his 60th birthday ... To Maurie Reizen
Hy Vogel that lined the walls and beams
on his 93rd birthday ... To Eva Piasek on
during his more than 47 years there and
her birthday. ❑
at the restaurant's former locations and
incarnations had to be sold at auction to
Danny's email is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net .




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