Déjà Food

A Jazzy Harp and a Musical Fountain at Café Gourmet


I have fond memories of Café Gourmet on Hamilton near Six Mile Road in the early ’60s. It was located on a block of brick buildings fronting the sidewalks. Very unpretentious from the outside. It felt like finding a secret place when you finally found the door.

This was the scene of the first date with my future husband — a marriage that lasted 44 years. We loved this romantic setting — candles, flowers, and lowered lighting as well as gourmet meals and excellent service.

Another reason my date selected the Café Gourmet: He was aware of my love of jazz.

I was thrilled to observe that the dining tables were arranged around a lower center stage.

On stage was a large, beautiful fountain — I seem to remember a mermaid — something nautical. (Editor’s note: The fountain reacted to music: an outer ring to low notes, the inner ring to high tones.)

Serenading the patrons was the Detroit gem, jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby. This was early in her career. I felt fortunate to enjoy her before she left Detroit in the late ’60s for a successful performance and recording career.

We were unhappy when the cafe closed. It remains one of my most treasured memories. I know I have a purple matchbook cover from Café Gourmet. Unfortunately, I have yet to find it among my other memorabilia.

— Loretta Geiger, Livonia



Do you have a story of a long-gone restaurant from metro Detroit’s storied past? Share your anecdotes of memorable meals or restaurant people — but don’t wax too poetic.  We’re only talking 200-300 words. If you have fun snapshots, all the better. We’ll give a $100 gift certificate to one of the finer “modern” restaurants in town to the author of items we publish. Email us at editorial@hourdetroit.com or snail mail us at 117 W. Third St., Royal Oak, MI 48067. Just put “Deja Food” on the subject line or envelope.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Coffee Shop Lucky Detroit Opens in Corktown’s Detroit Barbers

Craft beverages and close shaves prove to be a winning combination

Designer Taste

A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie

A Lebanese Take on Classic American Favorites

Mission BBQ Opens in Troy

A new restaurant serves summer favorites with a side of patriotism year-round

A New Noodle Shop on the Block

Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best Dressed 2018
    Pulling back the curtain on this year’s selection of the region’s most stylish denizens
  2. Keeping Up with Sheefy McFly
    The multitalented visual artist and musician is ubiquitous in the Motor City
  3. Cocktail Recipe: Casa del Cider
  4. Designer Taste
    A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie
  5. Excellence in Care: Beaumont Health
    Hour Detroit presented Beaumont Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this extraordinary...
  6. Gathering Spot
    Eastern Market restaurant finds its groove after a rocky beginning
  7. The Way It Was
    Better Made Snack Foods, 1971
  8. Food Recipe: Barbecue Mac & Cheese
    Vast Kitchen and Bar executive chef, Jordan Gillis, upgrades the comfort staple
  9. Sanctuary for the Senses
    Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other
  10. Excellence in Care: St. Joseph Mercy Health
    Hour Detroit presented St. Joseph Mercy Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this...