The Last Night at Joey’s Stables in Delray/Detroit

Joey’s Stables was the restaurant in Delray, which was annexed to the city of Detroit in 1905.   Though most people thought of the Delray area as Hungarian, it was a melting pot of nationalities as they started on their quest of the American Dream.  Joey’s was where the elite met to dine in the area.  I am not sure when they opened their doors and there were always rumors that it was a “port of entry” during the Prohibition era.  All I know is that it was a man’s restaurant.

From the moment you walked in, and your eyes had to adjust to the dimness of the bar, it had the feeling of another era.  The bar had had a couple of booths that had beautiful horse heads carved that demarcated one booth from another.  The bar always had a few people standing around and most of them were regulars that only greeted the other regulars.



Starting with the appetizer plate that came out almost as soon as you were seated, that had a bean salad, and herring in sour cream with crackers and bread; you started to eat, before you knew you were hungry.



I had an uncle that held “court” there a couple times a week.  On certain days, you knew he was going to be there dining and drinking with customers and friends.    It was that kind of place, where you felt at home.  You could always get perch or a steak, and great Road House style frog legs piled high on the plate, which I enjoyed for the last time.



Joey’s had survived everything that had hit it, until the City, applied the nails to the coffin.  I have heard several different stories and variations of the machinations that caused this institution to go into the annals of history.  As I said, I remember the last night of Joey’s and it was packed, the bar area must have been five deep.  It was a sad day for the regulars, and for others that regarded it as their once or twice a year bit night on the town.   I remember that at the next table was the family that maintained a funeral home in Delray, and I kidded the table, that they were just doing what came naturally.


I remember splurging that evening and buying a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella by Bolla.  It was one of the top wines on their menu.  I wanted to close my memories with a good wine.  I just talked about Amarone wines a couple of posts ago, but as I said then, if you get a chance to try one, do it.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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23 Responses to The Last Night at Joey’s Stables in Delray/Detroit

  1. Mike Halama says:

    My grandma Alice Moore worked there for over 35 years shes still talking about joeys.

  2. linda stephens says:

    i loved joey’s, dragged a prom date there once, he wasn’t impressed with the atmosphere but i was. always good food. good thing the roman forum and coliseum aren’t in detroit, ‘we’ would have torn them down/blew them up with joey’s and hudsons. and carl’s. where would j.p. hang if he were still here?
    linda grayling, originally dearborn

    • Linda,
      You are so right about what has happened to some of the institutions that were Detroit, that have been razed. I am glad that you have good memories of Joey’s as I do. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope you checked some other of my memories of the old Detroit.
      – John

  3. david says:

    My dad was the night porter there, his name was Benny ..

    • David, I am sure that your Father could tell you some stories of that fabled restaurant. Thank you for stopping by.

    • linda kulpa says:

      Hi sister waitressed and bar tended at joeys stables as well as Al’s lounge and Roses bar…her name was carole m…a wonderful person who died suddenly may 2012..but the memories of ‘good old Delray’ are fond ones for sure! I also was kitchen help at Al’s Lounge and have many good memories there too! I’m sure my sister carole knew your dad..Benny as I heard her speak highly of him…linda…thanks for the memories:)

  4. Daniel Miltz says:

    I used to go to Joey Stables with my grandfather and father after the fights or a wrestling match….I remember the perch and frog legs were the best. They get schnokered on Seagram whiskey, Stroh’s and E&B beer. And I had to drive them home and didn’t even have my license yet. Used to love to go to Delray to all the Hungarian butcher shops -and- Rouge to the chicken slaughterhouses. And love the smell of “Great Lakes Steel Mill.”

    • Daniel,
      I agree that the memories of Joey’s and Delray in general hold a great place in my heart. You are right about the perch and the frog legs, as well as so many of the other wonderful dishes that they served. Thank you for stopping by.
      – John

  5. Gary Marx says:

    We were talking yesterday at work about Detroit places that are gone. and two names popped up. Majors, which we always went to on birthdays and other special times and Joey’s Stables. My parents were such regulars when they were dating back in the late 30’s that the running joke was that they basically paid for the mirror behind the bar. We went a few times but now sadly it’s gone.

    • Gary, thank you for stopping by. You mentioned two of my favorite restaurants from the old days, and if you missed it, I even wrote about Majors. I also wrote a follow-up to Joey’s and you may be interested to know that the bar is now located in a family room of a home in Michigan.
      – John

  6. Tom Nanasy says:

    Mike – I was born and raised in Delray and yes I am of Hungarian heritage. I remember Joey’s like it was yesterday. I only went there a couple of times. I lived on Thaddeus just a couple of blocks from Dearborn St and Jefferson. That used to be my corner because I caught the Jefferson bus and took it all the way to the end on Fort St and Griswold. You see, I went to and graduated from Cass Tech. This was in the late 50’s to 1961. – Tom N.

  7. Brooke Riley says:

    I went there with my uncle in 1979.I loved it and I still remember it.Eas recommended to me.

    • Brooke, thank you for stopping by and sharing your memory of Joey’s. It actually has been one of my most popular articles, but it is because they had great food and a wonderful atmosphere. The perfect setting for old Delray and Southwest Detroit. – John

  8. Al Duzak says:

    In 1985 and employed at a funeral home down Jefferson, I proposed to Mary Ellen one cold and wet December night. Joey’s was the Gold Standard for a night out.

  9. Al Duzak says:

    In 1985 and employed at a funeral home down Jefferson, I proposed to Mary Ellen one cold and wet December night. Joey’s was the Gold Standard for a night out.

  10. Tim says:

    We bought a farm in Metamora in 2014 and the Bar from Joey’s stables is in our barn along with the original wagon wheel lights and a booth from the restaurant.

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