Déjà Food: Exotic Chinese Food

Exotic Chinese food, circa 1960


Chinese food was a rare treat back in the early ’60s! We lived in the Six Mile and John R area, and there were few Chinese restaurants around, let alone one that we could walk to (my mom didn’t drive then). We discovered the Kow Kow Inn on Six Mile when we walked a mile to the RKO Uptown Theatre to see Psycho on a Sunday afternoon! After the movie, while still trembling with fear (I was 10), my mom said, “We’re getting Chinese tonight.” I think she needed to sit down too! The Kow Kow was just west of Woodward — and visible from the RKO Uptown. That first visit made us regulars  — discovering dishes like shrimp in lobster sauce, chop suey, chow mein, and wonton soup. We were daring gastronomes, trying something new almost every week. I still yearn for Chinese food on Sunday as I remember the warm feel of that brown paper bag holding our leftovers as we walked home. The Kow Kow has closed (Editor’s note: Most reports we found show it closed around 2006 or 2007) but it is not forgotten!

— Pam Coultis, Redford



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. We’ll give a $100 gift certificate to a “modern” restaurant 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.


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