Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Tom's Tavern Documentary Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Filmstress
Member
Username: Filmstress

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am in pre-production on a documentary about Tom's Tavern. I am looking for people of all ages who are fans of the bar and have interesting stories to tell. I also would love photos. I am not sure how many survived the car crash as the walls are quite bare now.
My hope is to set up some dates beginning next month to do interviews, preferably at the bar. Anyone interested please email me at femmnoir3@yahoo.com
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitnerd
Member
Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1772
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ask the barkeep about the old days of the Purple Gang. Tom used to tell stories about them delivering booze and ready to deal out some violence. "Anyone botherin' ya, Tom?" they'd ask with big smiles and itchy trigger fingers.
Top of pageBottom of page

Udmphikapbob
Member
Username: Udmphikapbob

Post Number: 506
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Filmstress, I've got several friends from U of D who used to tend the bar from time to time in the late 90s. I'll try to get some of them in touch with you. I've personally been there a handful of times, but don't have any stories worthy of recording. Good luck, I'd love for your project to come to life!
Top of pageBottom of page

Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11288
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 5:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to the forum, Filmstress.

Curious...please keep us posted on your progress!
Top of pageBottom of page

Reddog289
Member
Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 198
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 3:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

having heard alot about Tom,s i should stop by. my favorite of Eric Smiths [from the heart] was the one of Hec,s Bar.
Top of pageBottom of page

Kova
Member
Username: Kova

Post Number: 131
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 3:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

make sure to ask about the history of the goat. my family has a lil history in that one
Top of pageBottom of page

Smogboy
Member
Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 6891
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 3:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It might also be worthwhile to track down some of the professors at UDM. I know a handful of them went there often and even had radio broadcasts of their Ask The Professor show there a few times.

Great place.
Top of pageBottom of page

Queensfinest
Member
Username: Queensfinest

Post Number: 141
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 4:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

where was tom's tavern? i only ask because when i google it a few place in mass and elsewhere come up, but none in murdertown...
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2210
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah Tom's Tavern and UDM (well, University of Detroit) go hand in hand. Always hearing some sort of entertaining story about the place from a few years ago.
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2211
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Queensfinest, I think that it is near 7 mile and Wyoming--it's pretty much a shack. It's not something that you would pass and think that you needed to give a second look: http://www.modeldmedia.com/nei ghborhoods/eatanddrink/tomstav .aspx
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 546
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Queersfinest - Maybe you misspelled something. Googling ("tom's tavern", detroit) pulls up hundreds of links
Top of pageBottom of page

Raggedclaws
Member
Username: Raggedclaws

Post Number: 114
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 9:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Queersfinest..." good one, Gnome ! Love your subtlety.

Queensfinest is a troll. Check his post regarding segregated amusement parks (exceedingly stupid thread, btw).
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanpioneer
Member
Username: Urbanpioneer

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I drive by Tom's Tavern on my way to HomeDepot. I know it's history of having the look of being unopen etc. Is it open for business? It looks like it has an active, new Dumpster in the parking lot and occasional cars.
Top of pageBottom of page

Smogboy
Member
Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 6894
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey hey...careful there, Urbanpioneer! That dumpster could very well be a Tom's Tavern annex or a new banquet room.
Top of pageBottom of page

Xd_brklyn
Member
Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 360
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Car crash? How's Tom's Tavern doing nowadays? Filmstress good luck with your documentary. Am not aware of any documentary on Lindell AC while it was still standing. Good choice for a film.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 548
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tom's was open this week, beer still cold, jukebox still hot, floor still crooked.

They did finally installed a real furnace last fall and I think they have cable now too. UrbanP, don't be afraid, stop in anytime you see cars out front, there's no place like Tom's.
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanpioneer
Member
Username: Urbanpioneer

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for update. I WILL be stopping in on the way from my Home Depot run and will provide a personal review. Thanks!
Top of pageBottom of page

Paulc
Member
Username: Paulc

Post Number: 161
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 12:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And don't forget to document the upcoming (21st Annual) Babe Ruth Birthday Party:

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008
5 PM - 2:00 AM
10093 W. 7 Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI
(Just W of Wyoming)
313-862-9768

www.baberuthcentral.com
Top of pageBottom of page

Udmphikapbob
Member
Username: Udmphikapbob

Post Number: 508
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 12:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

from the Google-fu:

http://www.realdetroitweekly.c om/printer_323.shtml
Top of pageBottom of page

Xd_brklyn
Member
Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 362
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 12:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Paulc, the link to the birthday party on the baberuthcentral.com website is:

http://www.baberuthcentral.com /Passion/#Birthday
Top of pageBottom of page

Thoswolfe
Member
Username: Thoswolfe

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tom's building still has that interesting 'fall-down' look.
But it sure is NOT the same joint Tom Lucas ran.
I was delighted to see it still open one night a few years ago, and stopped in.
Ordered a Bud, and the bartender "you're kidding, I'll see if we've got one."
All the customers were from Royal Oak, Birmingham. Sipping bottled water or imported brews. The type-"Hey,look at me, I'm patronizing a run down shack in DETROIT" They did have Bud, got it from out of a REFRIGERATOR.
Back in Tom's day... He liked to stay open nights for the 'girls', nurses at Mt Carmel& Sinai.(and he was that way to his 90's)
Did not have a frig, he kept the beer in ice in the cooler.Nothing fancy, Stroh's,Bud, etc. And during the day, well he'd take off for a few hours at the track if biz was slow. He sometimes found someone to fill in, sometimes just closed up, and got rides to the track.(DRC,I drove him a few times myself) In fact Tom lived within walking distance of his joint, noone ever bothered him.
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1043
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 12:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thoswolfe, I dunno. I have been in there several times more recently than you were, and the ambiance was not at all what you describe. True, beer is kept in a fridge (but I seem to recall the very popular brands are still on ice), and there are more different brands available, but I can't recall ever seeing anyone in that tavern sipping bottled water. The jukebox still contains some of the baffling old faves.

As far as the crowd, it is and always was a mix of the well-to-do and the not-so-much from Detroit and everywhere else in the metro. Any time I happen to stop in, many of our old favorites from the days when Tom his own ornery self was holding court are still at their regular stools, which somehow manage to stay aloft on that way-out-of-level floor.

Kids, if you ain't been there, or not in a long time, don't believe Thoswolfe or me, check it out. To prevent minors from dropping by, I'll give the phone number in a form to which only us oldsters are hip: UNiversity 2-9768. Call before you stop in, because Tom's is only open when it's open (and lately not early in the week).

Oh and by the way, last I checked, it was still a cash only establishment.

For my bus riding friends, it's on the #45 Seven Mile bus, and only a half-block west of the #54 Wyoming bus.
Top of pageBottom of page

Thoswolfe
Member
Username: Thoswolfe

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 4:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ProfessorScott,
Apologies for coming across too negative about Tom's.
Maybe I just came in at a bad time, I don't live in Mich anymore,it was about 5 years ago, maybe?.But really, that was the type crowd there that night.They all seemed to be friends/co-workers/neighbors of the Tavern's owners that night.
The Tom's you describe is just the way I would like to have seen it that time I visited.And I'm glad to read there is usually a more eclectic crowd there. I will be stopping there next time I'm in Detroit then, and gotta check out that jukebox again !
There was only one Tom, I guess it can't be QUITE the same as before, all things gotta change a little. Sure do miss the guy,at least the Tavern does live on.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 554
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 7:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tom's is the only bar I've ever been where people ask for a Vitamin S and get handed a Strohs, so Mr. WOOF, if you were there with some Vichy D'leau swilling swells you were certainly experiencing a Tom's I've never seen.

True, the health department made them put in a refrigerator, and they do have some pretty high-brow beers like St. Paulie Girl, Goose Island, Labatts, Molson, Bell's, Motor City but Strohs, High Life, Bud are still around.

Since Tom died the place has had a tough time. It literally has survived on the kindness of strangers. It is a mutt of a building, true. Ugly beyond belief. Scarey even.

It also happens to be the best place to take a first date. Because if she likes Tom's she's a gem and worth sticking to.

The first ex-Mrs. Gnome hated Tom's.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 262
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 10:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A few friends and myself are going there this week. Does anybody know the hours of operation?
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 557
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

tom's doesn't really have hours ... it's always best to call ahead, but next tuesday is Tom Lucas' birthday bash. He would have been 100+ but is still with us in spirits.

Basically, if your driving by and there is a car out front, the place is open.
Top of pageBottom of page

Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2507
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can someone verify the location of Tom's Tavern? I pass this small garage-like structure on Seven Mile north of Wyoming and I often say to myself, "There's no way that this is the Tom's Tavern that everybody talks about. It looks like it's about to fall down." Same place that you guys talk about?

(Message edited by royce on January 12, 2008)
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 558
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 3:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yep, that's it ... a tar paper shack with bars on the windows ... the inside is a nicer than the outside, but the floor is really crooked and the front door is non-standard height so if you're close to six feet you have to duck your head.

The building is located on the South side of 7 mile about 150 yards west of Wyoming.

(Message edited by gnome on January 12, 2008)
Top of pageBottom of page

Dds
Member
Username: Dds

Post Number: 509
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 3:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

He would have been 100+ but is still with us in spirits.



Freudian slip?
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 559
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 3:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL ... no, completely intentional, but written in such a way as only the most perspicacious would notice.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 264
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 8:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

we are going to Toms tomorrow. anybody know what time the party starts?
Top of pageBottom of page

Stingbeelee
Member
Username: Stingbeelee

Post Number: 6
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tom's is located on Seven Mile, on the south side of the street, 2 blocks west of Wyoming. On the other side of seven mile, the side street is Ilene; there is a Little Ceasar's Pizza right across the street and a social security office next door to Tom's. I know exactly where it is, as I worked at Tindal Recreation Center right in back of Tom's for years.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 267
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 4:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

whats the best way to get there ? 96 to Wyoming north to Seven mile i would imagine
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1050
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where are you coming from? Closest freeway is the Lodge, so if you're crossing downtown/midtown, take the Lodge north to Wyoming and turn north, then Seven Mile is about a mile and a half north. If you take 96 you're going to be on Wyoming for a lot longer.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 268
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 5:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

eastside here, i will take Lodge to Wyoming, thanks, i just called Toms, no answer, not looking good. Professor, are you going? It would be nice to see some fellow Dysers there
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 564
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 7:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pgn421-

Do not worry, unless you plan on getting there at 4:30, and even then you can just wait outside. Tom's is a very relaxed place, very freeform, so just swing by and enjoy. Don't worry that Ron isn't answering the phone, a lot of times he closes on Monday, especially if the sunday football crowd has been active.

If you're coming from the Pointes ... I take 8 mile straight across. It moves fast, you avoid the madness of 696 and there is always something to see.

Take 8 Mile west and when you pass Wyoming, do a Michigan left and double back to Wyoming, take it south and turn right on 7 mile. Tom's is on your left (or the south side of 7).

Have confidence, don't worry, Ron will open Tom's when he's ready. If you get there, and Ron is running around, just introduce yourself and ask him how you can help...fill the cooler, haul around some beer cases, anything.

It's part of the experience, ... it ain't Applebees, so don't expect that kind of treatment.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 269
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 8:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks gnome! i might do the 8 mile trip from Harper Woods. Are you going? it would be nice to meet some fellow DYESERS
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1052
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 8:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I may be there also, but quite late, 10 or so. On the other hand I may be too tired, in which case you'll see me at the Babe Ruth party.

Tom's is not open every single day. Most Tuesdays, for instance, he doesn't bother opening, Monday is a crap shoot. Thursday to Saturday is pretty regular. Then too, how late he closes depends on several things.

It's not the kind of place that keeps to a schedule, and definitely worth the trip.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 270
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 8:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Prof-when is the Babe Ruth party?did Babe frequent Toms?
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 271
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 9:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i just spoke to Ron, he is opening at Noon tomorrow, corned beef and cabbage is the menu.
Top of pageBottom of page

Professorscott
Member
Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Somewhere on the blog is a link to the site with the party info. Early February some time. I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

Incidentally for any Tom's newbies, the word of the day is "cash". I don't think Tom's Tavern has ever taken any other form of payment media since day 1. I always recommend using an ATM in a neighborhood you're familiar with rather than one you aren't.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 274
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 9:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks Proff- for the advice.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 275
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 9:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

had a great time at Toms, Boomer, thanks for coming.
Top of pageBottom of page

Paulc
Member
Username: Paulc

Post Number: 164
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 1:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pgn421:

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008
5 PM - 2:00 AM
10093 W. 7 Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI
(Just W of Wyoming)
313-862-9768

www.baberuthcentral.com
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 279
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

YES, I WILL BE THERE, DOESNT IT START EARLIER?
Top of pageBottom of page

Gnome
Member
Username: Gnome

Post Number: 569
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I got to Tom's about 7 or 8 and I guess some DY types had already came and went. Had a great corned beef sandwich and a couple of strohs.
Top of pageBottom of page

Filmstress
Member
Username: Filmstress

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey glad to see the Tom's posted started a wildfire of debate. I had a great time at Tom's b-day party on Tuesday. I met alot of the old timers, some I knew, some I didn't. I was told that back in the day channel 7 did some pieces on Tom's (it may have been on that show with the Turners) If anyone has a clue where I could find old footage of Tom's let me know.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pgn421
Member
Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 283
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Filmstress- Ron from Toms has Channel 7 footage on vcr tape. I was there early tuesday and set it up for him.Didnt you see anything on the t.v. there?

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.