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Danny Raskin: Same Name, New Owners

A new and different Como’s from Peas & Carrots Hospitality Group.

Como's restaurant sign with light up star on top.Newsroom | Detroit Jewish News

It might have seemed strange that the Peas & Carrots Hospitality Group would want to continue using the Como’s name unless it were to retain the recently closed restaurant as it once was with much glory on Woodward, Ferndale … and almost completely refurbish it … which it will definitely do.

Como’s former owners, George and Cecilia Grego, once told me they had kept the name of the then former little Como’s Pizza in 1961 because they were short on money to purchase another sign and change the names on everything.

New owners at Peas & Carrots Hospitality Group, Zack Sklar, Jim Bellinson and Josh Humphrey, do not have that problem but they will also retain the same Como’s name.

Cecilia is the aunt of the late Frank Passalaqua, who owned Mario’s … His son and her nephew, Vince Passalaqua, is presently doing a fine job as owner of Mario’s on Second, Detroit.

When she and George took over the previously named Como’s Pizza on the corner of Woodward and Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, Cecilia became its cook and only waitress of a very limited pizza menu … The Gregos didn’t hire their first waitress until two years later … But it didn’t remain just another small neighborhood restaurant … and, eventually, extended its menu choices with the addition of a chef.

Como’s ultimately turned into more of an upscale dining operation without the higher prices … and acquired a day and night dining room manager … It began serving a 10-ounce chopped sirloin covered with mushrooms, cut from sirloin steaks, plus veal, chicken dishes, ravioli, frog legs, shrimp stuffed with crab meat, salmon, etc.

Como’s pizzas, both deep dish and round, remained among the finest in the area, tossed and prepared in the front window … Its health department violations and other problems began with much might and eventually forced its tragic closing.

Peas and Carrots Hospitality Group also owns the former Beau Jack’s, now Beau’s Grillery restaurant in Bloomfield, Social Kitchen & Bar in Birmingham, and other area restaurants.

1954 COMES BACK FOR one day at Jim Brady’s on Main, off I-696, Royal Oak, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, to celebrate its third anniversary … Menu prices include its legendary burger and fries, $1.30 … Charlie Brown, Detroit’s first bacon and Swiss burger, $1.55 … Jim Brady’s original chili, 60 cents a cup … soup du jour, 55 cents a cup, etc. …Manhattans, Tom Collins, Irish coffee, each $1.95 … All dine-in only … No substitutions or take home … Limit one entrée per person … No carry-out boxes available … Also, the no-kill New Beginnings Animal Rescue (NBAR) of Royal Oak will be the beneficiary of its burger sales … and 50 cents from each order of the made-from-scratch carrot cake will also go to NBAR as well … Third-generation restauranteur Tom Brady is asking guests to bring a cat or dog food donation with them on the 28th … People who have fallen on hard times will be given pet food for their animals.

WHO’S WHERE DEPT. … Jim Hiller, former head of Hiller Markets … whose first job years ago was as an attorney with Levin, Levin, Garvett & Dill, legal handlers then of the Jewish News and its first owner Phil Slomovitz and son Carmi … Today, Jim consults for various types of companies… those seeking more profitable ways or new businesses needing assistance, etc. … including, of course, food-related companies.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … The owner of a small delicatessen was being questioned by an Internal Revenue Service gent about his tax return. He had reported a net profit of $80,000 for the year.

“Why don’t you people leave me alone?” the deli owner said. “I work like a dog. Everyone in my family helps out. The place is closed three days a year. And you want to know how I made $80,000?”

“It’s not your income that bothers us,” the agent said. “It’s these travel deductions. You listed six trips to Florida for you and your wife.”

“Oh, that,” the deli owner said, smiling. “It’s a legitimate business expense. We also deliver.”

CONGRATS … To Sarah Saltzman on her birthday.

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

Danny Raskin

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