Loose Lips

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When we were kids, snow had to reach our thighs before school was called off. It seems that these days, citywide panic of apocalyptic proportions accompanies forecasts of just a few inches. Must be snowplow anxiety.

While sensationalistic newscasts seem a likely cause for our Chicken Little behavior, it can’t be denied that our insanely overtrafficked roads do become hazardous hellbound highways with the least bit of slick stuff settling in.

This past weekend was a case in point, as my entertainment plans were thwarted by safety-minded music makers wisely opting for the cozy confines of home.

Not only did the karaoke meistress deprive this diva at The Senate in Hamtown on Friday, but Greektown’s Music Menu Café found itself uncharacteristically devoid of dancing din. Chef Chris and the Nairobi Trio, scheduled for a peak-time performance, opted not to risk the drive from Keego, hauling equipment and whatnot.

They were sorely missed by all, and waiter extraordinaire Jay lamented their absence with particular ferocity.

Even without its signature live music, the Music Menu’s relaxed, in-the-know atmosphere afforded ambience aplenty for city folk to warm their souls.

This venue’s easy persona stems from its origin. Once upon a time, two sets of brothers lived down the street from one another. They loved to throw huge parties, serving jambalaya they’d cooked up. The foursome decided to open a bar that would be just like their legendary parties. Cool, eh? Musicians, locals and tourists think so.

Slammy singer Mike Burke and wanker Tim D’Annunzio stopped in with their No. 1 groupie, Jim Salisbury, after witnessing a depressing Red Wings loss. Apparently, Osgood let in a cheap goal a couple of minutes into the third period, and just recalling the faux pas sent the Slamsters into a frenzy.

Some brews later, the boys were settled down and restored to their usual charismatic selves. Slammy (formerly Old Miami house faves Barbed Wire Playpen) promises local gigs very soon.


The patriarch of the country’s first sports bar, Detroit’s own Lindell A.C., celebrated his 80th birthday last week with a barful of dear friends and admirers. Johnny Butsakaris’ family finagled a surprise party for the old fart, right at his own bar!

Guests gathered by 7 p.m. and our beloved Johnny came through the door around 7:30, his face a stirring landscape of emotion to see the assemblage of folks gathered there in his honor.

Good old Sonny Eliot, still the poetic punster, celebrated his old friend. Back in his "At The Zoo" days, silly Sonny once escorted a baby elephant into the Lindell! Photos behind the bar chronicle the catastrophic caper, including the messy mayhem resulting from the little guy’s system spasmodically spewing the Coke which Sonny treated him to. Ack.

Party press people in the house included local daily columnist Joe Falls, Mike O’Hara of the other local daily, and Channel 62’s Rich Mayk, a very nice guy.

Former Detroit Tiger Jim Northrup (1968) was seen around the champagne fountain, recalling days of yesteryear. And even ol’ Dwayne X. Riley, retired Channel 4 news anchor, reminisced about the good old days.

Remember him? Back in the day, the lineup was Riley, Eliot and Al Ackerman. Primetime shows included "Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color," "Candid Camera" and "Bonanza"!

Those were the days when snowstorms meant drifts of dangerously deep proportions!

Politicians even partook in well-wishing Johnny, who received personally penned letters from Mayor Archer, Governor Engler and even Bill and Hillary! Happy birthday, Johnny.


Tommy, the Union Street parking lot guy, favored frolickers with his friendliness last Friday, even though he had to spend hours out in the snow and frosty freeze. Smiles are contagious, man.

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