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Stage Deli sandwich
Stage Deli sandwich

Danny Raskin: Center Stage

Stage Deli continues to impress in West Bloomfield.

Many years ago, much time before it opened, numerous people were already hearing a rumor that Max Asnas would be opening a delicatessen here in the somewhat likeness of his world-famous Stage Deli in New York … The gossip, although not completely true, was indeed partly correct when it was learned that in 1962 a localite would definitely soon open a Stage Deli in this area … but not Max Asnas.

The Goldbergs: Jolie, Steve and Ian of Stage Deli.

The Goldbergs: Jolie, Steve and Ian.

How Jack Goldberg, a former delicatessen worker here, got that exalted New York name has always been a mystery to many … After his deli stints working at numerous Jewish delicatessens locally amid other employment ventures … and a vision of someday opening their own deli … he and wife, Harriet, had taken over the former location of Liberman’s Delicatessen and opened their Stage Deli on Nine Mile Road in Oak Park … And later a second, named Stage & Co. that was subsequently also retitled Stage Deli, at its present location on the Boardwalk, Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield.

Today, 56 years later, Stage Deli, Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, is under the ownership and guidance of their son, Steven Goldberg, his son Ian, its full-time manager, daughter Jolie, its part-time manager, and son Perry, until recently full-time kitchen manager …  plus General Manager Christine “Chris” Feasel, who 33 years ago began as a Stage waitress … Executive Chef Jesse Sanchez for 25 years … waitperson Sandra “Sandy” Clayton for 26 years, etc. … All have more than maintained Stage Deli’s own identity of today … with delicatessens in West Bloomfield and limited offerings of Stage signature items in the food court at Troy’s Somerset Mall on West Big Beaver Road.

Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, flagship of the two, had already attained a national reputation with much major recognition … and is many times the scene of show business celebrities … perhaps being in one of the Stage’s framed wall hangings.

Also, a completely separate room in West Bloomfield with three large refrigerated glass cases for untold numbers of home-cooked carry-out delicacy selections, including many original recipes from Harriet’s head and golden hands … stuffed cabbage, both regular and veggie chopped liver, cheese blintzes, gefilte fish, pickled herring, potato latkes, etc., etc., etc. … most of the goodies made in house.

It is amazing, too, that about two-thirds of the West Bloomfield business is at dinner time … including an untold amount of fish delivered to Stage’s back door six days a week … The dinner attendance alone would no doubt bring smiles to the faces of many restaurant owners.

Seating in the West Bloomfield dining room is 160, plus an outdoor patio for 40 more.

Having and maintaining its own identity was no doubt difficult at times … But the Stage Deli of today has truly earned its own fine legendary reputation … Yes, Jack and Harriet … along with many others … would smilingly so agree that their son Steve and grandchildren Ian and Jolie, have done a wonderful job.

WINNERS AT THE RECENT 12th Annual JCC Michigan-Florida Reunion & Golf Classic were … Men’s 9-hole team, Phil Elkus, Al Shaw and Miriam Shaw … 18-hole team, Stuart Young, Mike Boyer, Steve Bentin … Women’s 18-hole team, Ellen Minkin, Nancy Norris, Beth Gursky and Julie Chaiken … Men’ s closest to the pin, Tom Norris … Women’s cloest to the pin, Alene Farber.

WORD IS THAT the original recipes used by the Tyner family have been obtained for the tribute evening honoring the former Checker Bar-B-Q spots … June 4, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. … at Steven Lelli’s Inn On The Green, 12 Mile between Halsted and Haggerty, Farmington Hills.

NEW INNOVATIONS with takeover at Siegel’s Deli, 15 Mile, just west of Haggerty, Commerce Township, include those delicious baking selections of Vicky Vushaj, mother of owners Edison and Elvis Vushaj … Siegel’s manager/waitress’ homemade strudels, knishes, coffee cake, etc., are big winners … plus Vicki’s popular own Greek Spinach Pie.

DON’T KNOW if Aretha Franklin will be at Beans & Cornbread’s first annual Kentucky Derby shindig, Saturday, May 5, 4 to 7 p.m. … But if she is, count on her ordering its Mac & Cheese … and maybe a Waldorf Salad, too… “How about that for soul food,” says B&C’s owner, Patrick Coleman … Plenty of mint juleps and bourbon cocktails plus a live disc jockey … Beans & Cornbread is in Southfield’s Sunset Strip, Northwestern, between 12 Mile and Inkster.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Two men went into a diner and sat down at the counter. They ordered two sodas, took sandwiches out of their packs and started to eat them. The owner saw what was going on and approached them. “You can’t eat your own sandwiches in here,” he said. The two men stopped, looked at each other, and then swapped their sandwiches.

CONGRATS … To David Sachs on his birthday … To Julia Abrams on her birthday …To Adele Goldstein on her 93rd birthday.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

Danny Raskin

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