So, you need a night out on the town? Maybe a car ride and dinner? Nothing too fancy for dinner, but you might also need a new pair of shoes or maybe a new hat for the occasion?

Well, I’ve got some suggestions for you from the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History.

First, if the weather is starting to turn a bit cool, you might need to reconsider your transportation. If it’s the 1920s, you don’t want to ride in the typical car of the era, one with a canvas roof and open sides. It might be time to buy the latest model Dodge Sedan, which features an all-steel enclosed body (Feb. 2, 1921, Jewish Chronicle). By the way, in 1914, the Dodge Brothers Company was the first American automobile maker to feature this weather-proof innovation.

Can’t afford a new Dodge? No problem, Reo Michigan Sales, Inc., with locations on Woodward and Jefferson avenues in Detroit, has used cars — excuse me, “pre-owned” — including “Late Model Closed Cars” to sell you for Chanukah: 1923 and 1924 Rickenbackers, a 1923 Haynes Brougham and 1923-24 Reo Sedans. You can also get the latest model Reo Speedwagon if your business needs a “commercial delivery car;” i.e., truck (Dec. 19, 1924, Chronicle).

If spring is nearing, then maybe it’s time to think about a new hat or shoes for going out? In May 1923, Frank & Seder on Woodward Avenue has just what you need. For men, the store has 6,000 straw hats for sale: “Fancy Straws, Jumbo Straws, Sennettes …” you name it! Frank & Seder’s motto is: “Not Cheap Hats … but Good Hats Cheap!”

Women’s shoes are also on sale. It appears to be a clearance sale, with “Black kid one-strap pumps, patent leather pumps, patent leather colonials, black kid oxfords, brown kid tie oxford, etc. etc.” In short, dozens of styles. All for $3.75 (about $62 today). What a deal! (Feb. 25, 1923, Chronicle).

Now, where to eat? Don’t need a four-star restaurant, just something tasty. In the 1940s, it’s easy to find a place when you check the JN. See the ad for Stewart’s Famous Grille, where you can participate in a “growing American custom” and have “Chicken in the Rough … Every Bite a Tender Delight” (Sept. 25, 1942, Chronicle). Hmmm — “rough” chicken? That doesn’t really seem especially appealing. Personally, I’d rather “Go To … Eugene Foo!” the man who brought “Chinatown to the Jewish Community” at the King Fong Café on Dexter (Dec. 22, 1947, JN).

If it’s the 1960s, you can check the weekly “Food ‘N Fun Guide” for a new restaurant to try. See the Greenfield’s advertisement in this section, where, at any one of its four locations in Detroit and Southfield, you get a “Meal (that) Has Real Appeal.” This ad features a drawing of a little freckled, smiling girl and points out that Greenfield’s has everything! Moreover, its “chefs and dieticians constantly keep abreast of the latest advancements in food knowledge …” (Sept. 10, 1965, JN). Good to know.

Would you like news about events and restaurants? Well, the moral of the story for 2022 is the same as that of the JN ad from its May 24, 1957, issue: “Know What’s Going On. Begin Reading the Jewish News This Week!”

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

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