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A 'Link' To The Past
Atomic Dawg's owner recalls the diggity dogs of his youth.
e was only 9 years old when Joel
Cihelka, America's first certi-
Bacow got hooked ... It was at
fied master chef, at the former
cousin Al Hacker's Hot Diggity
four-star Golden Mushroom
Dog restaurant on Eight Mile Road,
restaurant in Southfield.
Detroit, where he had his first hot dog
The same noted chili that
sandwich and loved it so much that Joel
Al Hacker served at Hot
became obsessed with someday owning
Diggity Dog is now also at
his own hot dog restaurant.
Atomic Dawg and going over
He moved to California and became a
big as expected ... It's Al's
biggie in the recording business ... While
own secret recipe and a very
living in Studio City, a favorite pastime
good one ... He was one of
was devouring a tasty dog at one of the
the partners with Jack Meyers
Pink's hot dog restaurants that originally
and Bernie Glieberman at the
opened in 1939 and became a Hollywood
Rascal House restaurant that preceded
the Golden Mushroom ... Three months
That opportunity came after Joel
ago, when Joel opened his Atomic Dawg,
moved back here and almost a year ago
Al came here from Miami to show him
opened his first Atomic Dawg on Coolidge how to make his luscious chili.
in Berkley ... He
While visiting Joel's
had returned from
uncle and aunt, com-
California in 1985,
munity-ites Lou and
and when the former
Evelyn Grant winter-
Berkley Creamery of
ing in Florida, he
55 years ago, diner
and his wife, Deneen,
and house behind
were invited for chili
built in 1921, was to
at Al's Miami home
be torn down, Joel
to again taste what
bought the prop-
so many people had
erty and buildings to
devoured for years
Atomic Dawg Owner Joel Bacow
make his dream come
with much gusto.
and Chef Gary Brunner
Thanks to Cousin
Like Pink's, Atomic
Al, Joel has that cov-
Dawg is not your ordinary hot dog place,
eted secret recipe for all to savor at his
but it was what Joel always wanted ... 100 Atomic Dawg.
percent all-beef hot dogs with variations
No, this is certainly not the usual type
from assorted areas ... and using the
of hot dog operation you would expect ...
same dogs flown in regularly from Los
Sure the Detroit Coney Island is there ...
Angeles as those consumed at Pink's for
and going over big as anticipated ... but
many years... Joel continues in the record also are a Manhattan Dog, Sante Fe Dog,
business at 54 Sound Studio in Ferndale,
Kingston Dog, Milwaukee Dog, New York
and his hot dog restaurant is becoming
Dog, Vietnamese Dog with chicken and a
known as a place to go for diversified
Chicago Dog ... Of course, the favorite of
styles of 100 percent all-beef hotties.
so many, including Al, is the Detroit Coney
And it's not just anybody, either, to head Island Dog which Joel has named "the D."
the making of Joel's coveted hot dogs ...
Plus pickle on a stick, thin crispy fried
His head chef, Gary Brunner, worked
potatoes, mini-burgers, Canadian coleslaw,
for nine years with Master Chef Milos
Seating downstairs and
upstairs is a total 49 ... Hours
are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-
It was 35 years ago that little
Joel Bacow, son of local-ites
Martin and Sarah Bacow, loved
his hot dog and excellent chili
at Hot Diggity Dog ... Now
having his own place in the
form of Atomic Dawg, it is like
living an unbelievable dream
that so happily came true.
TARGET DATE FOR opening of the
new Cheesecake Factory at Twelve-Oaks
Mall in Novi is tentatively set for August
... Construction is expected to begin six
weeks after all permits are in ... Opening
here for the first time, Cheesecake Factory
restaurant will be located between Lord
& Taylor and Nordstrom, adjacent to the
Twelve-Oaks valet sector.
Seating will be for 225 inside and 60 on
MAIL DEPT.... "I find that really
good Thai restaurants that service West
Bloomfield, Farmington Hills and Novi are
in limited numbers. There are many but
few that compare to relatively new Thai
restaurants like Spicy Bangkok on 14 Mile
Road in Commerce Township. Ingredients
that are so abundant and excellently pre-
pared are absolutely fresh and cooked to
order. Spicy Bangkok is a real gem:'
GOOD SERVER DEPT. ... Stacey
Martin combines very important efficien-
cy with a gracious personality that makes
patrons of Stage Delicatessen, Orchard
Lake Road, West Bloomfield, hope they are
seated in her station.
THANKS TO THE Detroit Tigers
Foundation, a lot of attendees to the 23d
Annual Hank Greenberg Memorial Golf
Invitational, Monday, June 3, at Franklin
Hills Country Club, will be even gladder
that they came.
Free door prizes at the banquet fun that
follows the golf will be about 200 tickets
to a home Tigers game at Comerica Park
... Among the variety of sports figures,
Joe Torre, former manager of the Yankees,
Dodgers, Cardinals, Mets and Braves and
present executive vice president of baseball
operations for Major League Baseball, will
be on the panel answering questions and
no doubt telling some of his wonderful
By receiving the Hank Greenberg
Lifetime Achievement Award, Torre joins a
list of some of America's most prestigious
baseball Hall of Fame members and highly
celebrated personalities who have come
here to be given this honor.
For tickets to what many won't want to
be left out of, call Michigan Jewish Sports
Foundation Executive Director David
Blatt, (248) 592-9323 or email
MARK THE DATE ... 12th Annual
Walk of Ages this year has been set for
Sunday, Aug. 18.
OLDIE BUT GOODIE DEPT. ... A
couple met at a resort and fell in love and
discussed how they would continue the
relationship after their vacations were
"It's only fair to warn you, dear, that I
am a golf nut:' he said. "I live, eat, sleep
and breathe golf'
"Well, since you're being so honest, so
will she said. "I'm a hooker."
"Hmm:' he said. "It's probably because
you're not keeping your wrists straight
when you hit the ball."
CONGRATS ... To Danny Cohn on his
birthday ... To Joannie Tringale on her
birthday ... To Ed Winkler on his birth-
day ... To Sarah Hack on her birthday ...
To Andrew Zarnitsky on his 15th birth-
Danny's email address is
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