Sons join their dad at Steven Lelli’s Inn On the Green.

By Danny Raskin, Senior Columnist

Photos Courtesy of Mark Zarkin

A chip off the ol’ block, or two of them, it might be said as Mark Zarkin celebrates the ninth anniversary of his Steven Lelli’s Inn On the Green, 12 Mile, between Halsted and Haggerty, Farmington Hills.

His dad, Jerry Zarkin, after retiring, did what son Mark had always hoped for … helped at his son’s various eateries … Jerry passed away in 2002.

Now Mark’s two fine sons, Ari and Michael Zarkin, also have made his fervent dream come true … having the blessings of his sons on hand to beautifully assist their dad.

Ari is Mark’s front-of-the-house manager … greeting patrons, taking reservations, seating them, etc. … along with making certain that all Steven Lelli’s Inn’s customers are well taken care of.

Ari, Mark and Michael Zarkin

Michael is the restaurant’s kitchen manager, assisting the executive chef and his fine staff … plus toiling in garmache or garde manager capacities making salads, desserts, house breads, etc.

Both sons have, like Mark, became huge favorites of many customers … Steven Lelli’s offerings of excellent food with gracious service abilities of fine servers is the ultimate full culmination of dining satisfaction.

New dining items to go with its already noted 32-ounce Tomahawk Steak for Two … include a luscious house-made chocolate cake dessert topped with hot fudge.

In celebration of Steven Lelli’s Inn’s ninth anniversary, two days only, Tuesday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 10, it will present the choice offering of three delicious porterhouse lamb chops … with potato, vegetable and bread basket, for $11.95 … No coupons … Dine in or carry-out.

It’s much acclaimed ultra-large and elegant enclosed outdoor patio off the main dining room will again soon be opened to all … 10 lava heat lamps, if needed, (you know the unpredictable Michigan weather), table umbrellas, padded wicker chairs, etc.

Going into its ninth year is a special one for Mark, having the greatly endeared addition of his two sons …

And as has been its credo since opening, Steven Lelli’s Inn On the Green’s constant efforts … the full maintenance of dining satisfaction.

MORE THAN 30 YEARS AGO, Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw talked about opening a delicatessen … It became more than just talk when they opened one in Ann Arbor and called it Zingerman’s … with today’s corned beef king, Sy Ginsberg, then delivering out of the back of his Volkswagen and sometimes staying at Zingerman’s Deli to help make corned beef, etc., sandwiches.

MAIL DEPT. … From Sam Erman … “I used to go to Brownie’s On The Lake and loved it. I didn’t know it was still there.”
(It’s not the same one, Sam … Joe Vicari bought Jack’s Waterfront and renamed it Brownies on the Lake seven years ago … You can find it at the foot of Lake St. Clair … The original Brownies on the Lake became the Beach Grill, then the Channel Marker and is now called The Sports Channel, also in St. Clair Shores.)

DID YOU KNOW DEPT. … That Little Harry’s, owned by Diamond Philips, was the one-time residence of a prominent Detroit family on East Jefferson and the home of Detroit’s first piano bar? … Diamond kept it along with the original architectural features of the yesteryear’s period … and those same piano ivories continued to twinkle Monday through Thursday at his Little Harry’s … Another Diamond Philips restaurant of the past was on East Jefferson and crammed with memorabilia he couldn’t get into Little Harry’s.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Jake and his friend Izzy were halfway through a round of golf when a golf ball came from out of nowhere and hit Jake on the back of his head. “Oy!” Jake cried out, rubbing the back of his head.

Almost immediately, a third golfer, Hymie, arrived to apologize. But Jake would have none of that.

“You call yourself a golfer?” yells Jake. “If I had my way, I’d ban you from every golf club. Do you see what you’ve done to me? My head is bleeding. I’m going to call my lawyer as soon as I get to the clubhouse and sue you!”

“But, but”, says Hymie, “didn’t you hear me? I yelled FORE.”

“OK,” says Jake, “I’ll take it!”

CONGRATS … To Don Cohen on his birthday … To Gertrude Solomon on her birthday … To Sid Riemer on his birthday … To Robert Seffinger on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is


  1. I’m of Italian heritage and a non-practicing Catholic. Born in 1953 in Newark, NJ, in the same room with my birth-mate, Paula Brown. Our families became very close friends, which blessed me with a warm affinity towards the Jewish population. All that background just to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed your article and it brought back warm memories for me. Sholam

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