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Ivanhoe Cafe--Good Friday Lunch at the Polish Yacht Club deedsphotos

Updated on April 19, 2015

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.


Patti, Ivanhoe Manager and Head Waitress, Tina
Patti, Ivanhoe Manager and Head Waitress, Tina | Source

Marilyn Graces the Men's Room

Original Plumbing

Big John
Big John | Source

The Pope's Corner

Photos of Past PYC Commodores on the back wall, celebrities on the wall to the left

Peter Fortune

Carol, Dick and Tucker
Carol, Dick and Tucker | Source
Michael and Stephen
Michael and Stephen | Source
Michael Provides Security for Patrons and their Cars.
Michael Provides Security for Patrons and their Cars. | Source
Lincoln Portrait by Samuel Montague Fassett c. 1859
Lincoln Portrait by Samuel Montague Fassett c. 1859 | Source


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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Sure, if we can fit it in. I think it's open M-F for lunch and Friday dinner.

    • profile image

      Sarah e deeds 

      9 years ago

      Nice hub. Can we go in October?

    • profile image

      Leta S 

      9 years ago

      Huh! Looks a lot like The Bohemian Cafe in Omaha near the old Sokol Auditorium on the South side in Omaha! :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great pics of our foray into the inner city!


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