Joey’s Stables was the restaurant in Delray, which was annexed to the city of Detroit in 1905. Though most people thought of the Delray area as Hungarian, it was a melting pot of nationalities as they started on their quest of the American Dream. Joey’s was where the elite met to dine in the area. I am not sure when they opened their doors and there were always rumors that it was a “port of entry” during the Prohibition era. All I know is that it was a man’s restaurant.
From the moment you walked in, and your eyes had to adjust to the dimness of the bar, it had the feeling of another era. The bar had had a couple of booths that had beautiful horse heads carved that demarcated one booth from another. The bar always had a few people standing around and most of them were regulars that only greeted the other regulars.
Starting with the appetizer plate that came out almost as soon as you were seated, that had a bean salad, and herring in sour cream with crackers and bread; you started to eat, before you knew you were hungry.
I had an uncle that held “court” there a couple times a week. On certain days, you knew he was going to be there dining and drinking with customers and friends. It was that kind of place, where you felt at home. You could always get perch or a steak, and great Road House style frog legs piled high on the plate, which I enjoyed for the last time.
Joey’s had survived everything that had hit it, until the City, applied the nails to the coffin. I have heard several different stories and variations of the machinations that caused this institution to go into the annals of history. As I said, I remember the last night of Joey’s and it was packed, the bar area must have been five deep. It was a sad day for the regulars, and for others that regarded it as their once or twice a year bit night on the town. I remember that at the next table was the family that maintained a funeral home in Delray, and I kidded the table, that they were just doing what came naturally.
I remember splurging that evening and buying a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella by Bolla. It was one of the top wines on their menu. I wanted to close my memories with a good wine. I just talked about Amarone wines a couple of posts ago, but as I said then, if you get a chance to try one, do it.