Our Person of the Week Knows The Best Places To Eat
The Detroit Jewish News is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It’s an impressive milestone for any publication. And our Detroit 2020 Person of the Week has written for every single issue of the paper since the first edition back in 1942.
Danny Raskin loves restaurants. That’s why this 93 year old restaurant reviewer is still on the job after seven decades. He says, “I have fun at doing it, which is the number one thing in longevity — have fun with what you’re doing. That’s very important.”
In the early years, Danny wrote a column called The Jewish Youth’s Listening Post. He wrote about our troops in World War II and urged readers to buy War Bonds. During that time he was even a USO performer.
Soon he began writing a second column about restaurants. And he used to have a long list of favorites, ” They were all downtown Detroit. You had the Chop House, the Wonder Bar, you had Berman’s Chop House, the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars.”
Today he says he has no real favorites, but he’s excited about all the new options, “There’s four of them just on Northwestern Highway opening up.”
His colleagues at the Detroit Jewish News say Danny Raskin is part of the personality of the paper. Publisher and Executive Editor Arthur Horwitz is glad, “Danny’s still here, he’s still doing what he’s doing and he’s doing it well.”
And Horwitz says Raskin is a celebrity at local restaurants, “People want to see what he’s ordering, and people want to see if he’s paying the bill, and I’m here to say he pays his bill and offers to pay his bill.”
But what may be most interesting about this restaurant reviewer — don’t call him a critic — is that he never writes a negative review. He understands what it takes to open a restaurant and if a place has problems, he doesn’t want it to fail, he wants it to improve. Raskin told us, “A lot of restauranteurs who I’ve met through the years have put their mortgage in the place. If there’s a problem it’s better I don’t write about it. Just take them to the side and tell them what’s wrong.” If they take his advice and make improvements, he comes back and writes a review.
The advice he gives to all restaurant owners, “If you’re a good restaurant man, you know how to keep the people happy — give them good food, give them good service, but don’t gouge them.”
And the main thing — have fun!
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