Friday, December 23, 2016

The Bar Years

My father was always looking for a business to own.  During lunch and after work he’d scout around for different businesses to buy.  Then he found the Au Sable Lounge on Warren Ave in Detroit.  And, my mother being a woman of her era went along for the ride…and she allowed my dad to use their savings to buy this business.  My parents originally had another partner, but my mother didn’t like the other woman, something about a dispute over the curtains, and she told my father to buy them out.  And so he did.

 I remember her hauling cartons of booze in and out of the back, managing the bar by day and being hostess with the mostest in the evenings.  This was the era of beehive hairdos and jackie o clothing styles.  Sometimes on special occasions like the bar’s anniversary, Mom would dress us up and we got to sit in the front and listen to the Peter Paar trio.  One time I remember a friend and I stopped by the bar after school and my mom let us sit at the bar and drink cokes and eat pistachios.  She told this friend not to tell her mother she was there.


My parents used to allow their customers to run bar tabs.  I clearly remember mom taking us kids to someone’s house and having us stand on the porch while she rang the bell. When the lady came to the door she told this woman that her husband owed the Au Sable money and her children (us kids) needed shoes. To this day in my own business I have only gotten stiffed once and I think it is because I saw that it’s ok to go and get the money people owe you. 

My mother ran the bar. She was the backbone and the brains of the operation. While they were successful bar owners, raising children and running a bar don’t always mix well, and so the bar years came to an end.

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