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Ivanhoe Cafe--Good Friday Lunch at the Polish Yacht Club deedsphotos
Lunch at the Polish Yacht Club
The Ivanhoe Cafe was founded in Poletown by Stanislaus Grendzinski in 1909. It is the second oldest restaurant in Detroit. (The oldest is the Roma Cafe in Detroit's Eastern Market.) Most people refer to the Ivanhoe as the Polish Yacht Club. This tongue-in-cheek organization was founded in 1961 by "Big John" Sobczak, legend has it, with its monthly meetings at the Ivanohe serving as an excuse for the boys to get out for a few beers. Also, legend has it that the club intended to petition the city of Detroit to dig a canal from the club to the Detroit River so that boating members could moor at the club like BYC, DYC and others. The Polish Yacht Club tradition has continued, and the organization has evolved into a charitable organization. The back wall is covered with pictures of the club's past commodores.
Despite it's location in one of Detroit's most demoralized neighborhoods, the Ivanhoe has survived by retaining it's original ambiance and serving generous portions of its specialty--the best Lake Michigan perch to be found anywhere.
The owner of the Ivanhoe is Lucille Sobczak, "Big John's" widow. The manager is Patti Galen, their daughter. Here is a link to the Ivanhoe's website.
Marilyn Graces the Men's Room
The Pope's Corner
Photos of Past PYC Commodores on the back wall, celebrities on the wall to the left
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln c. 1858 By
- Portrait of Abraham Lincoln c. 1859 by Samuel Montague Fassett
I recently tracked down the origin of a striking portrait of Abraham Lincoln which hangs on the wall in the dining room of one of my favorite restaurants, the Ivanhoe Cafe, in Detroit.