Seems like more people than ever before are going into the restaurant business with absolutely no experience in operating an eatery … Some are lucky enough to have others they can depend upon to assist them… But, oh, those sometimes-sleepless nights thinking of a name.

In many cases, it might be well for them to remember the experience that lay ahead for Joe Sposita after being asked to become a partner in a new restaurant that was soon to be opened … using the last name of the experienced co-partner to-be as its so-thought drawing card.

They had a falling out and Joe was left holding the bag, so to speak … Had a lease but couldn’t use the “draw” name … He was in a spot … no name … no one with restaurant knowledge around to help him.

Joe Sposita

But Joe Sposita did learn a very important lesson in restaurant ownership that should perhaps apply to the many who might need his experience to teach them a most essential message … That a dining spot’s name was secondary … Much more important were a restaurant’s good food, good service, customer satisfaction, etc. … Why not use his own good name, he was asked … Surely, it also holds respect … And if he could satisfy whatever may be needed for return visits by customers, a name could be anything … A name’s importance in bringing people back was quite little.

Because of this, Sposita’s Italian Ristorante on 14 Mile Road, between Orchard Lake Road and Farmington Road, West Bloomfield, is celebrating its 18th anniversary as one of this locale’s finest neighborhood Italian restaurants.

Joe retired as an officer in the International Plumber’s Union in 2001 to devote full time to making certain that above everything else, good food, proper attentive service, etc., will undoubtedly bring customers back for more … And perhaps a super special offer as a “thank-you” gesture for their appreciated patronage … Joe has never forgotten the cooperation of people who became steady customers from its opening in 1999 to today.

And so Sposita’s heavily requested “thank you” every-other-week dining offer, which had originally started out as a once-in-a-while gift, soon became a very much desired in-house offering … Petite prime filet, full antipasto tray, minestrone soup, salad, side of pasta, potatoes and bread basket … complete for $22.50 … This, plus a quality menu that offers more appreciated dining enjoyments.

The signage name? … Who cares? … How’s the food? … How’s the service? … How are the prices?

IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN … A Joe Muer Seafood restaurant in Las Vegas … Opening projection is for 2020, according to Joe Vicari, CEO and president of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group that includes 10 Andiamo eateries and now three-to-be Joe Muer Seafoods.

It will be built on the closed Las Vegas Club Hotel site on the Downtown strip, Fremont and Main, about a block from the former Fremont Hotel, now the D Hotel & Casino, constructed by ex-Detroiters brothers Greg and Derek Stevens … and housing Joe’s Andiamo Steak House, voted in the top three of Las Vegas’ 3,500 eateries. … The brothers are constructing the new hotel as well.

The new Joe Muer Seafood Las Vegas will be patterned after the present two Joe Muer Seafood restaurants in Detroit’s Renaissance Center and Bloomfield Hill’s former Kingsley Inn.

“We have had such a great relationship that this was an easy decision to make,” says Joe. “I’ve seen the rendering and the new property that will cost over $700 million and rival the finest hotels on the Las Vegas strip.”

FAVORITE RESTAURANTS of yesteryears … From Jerry Naftaly … “Another favorite restaurant of mine was in J.L. Hudson’s, Downtown Detroit and Northland. Fond memories of going Downtown as a kid with my mother and grandmother on an adventure, dressing nicely, riding elevators to the 13th floor, with operators wearing white gloves, calling out floors and items as we went higher. You can’t talk Hudson’s without mentioning its Maurice salads. The classic traditional food continued at Macy’s. Informal modeling and fashion shows in the 1950s through 1970s.

“A kids’ menu had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and burgers and chips, but I also remember most the macaroni au gratin, Canadian cheese soup and hot fudge walnut sundaes. Northland was a total experience of shopping for clothes, then lunch at the fourth-floor Hudson’s restaurant. By the 1980s, Hudson’s became more health-conscious, adding grilled chicken, broiled fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and low-sodium dressings.”

OLDIE BUT GOODIE Seeing signs years ago … On a peddler’s cart, “Don’t be fooled by imitators. This is my only pushcart.” … On a Las Vegas divorce lawyer’s door, “Satisfaction guaranteed or your honey back.”

CONGRATS … To Mariana Yonova on her birthday … To Jeff Metzger on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is

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