INTRO: An iconic Detroit restaurant has been torn down. Carl’s Chop House, at Grand River and The Lodge Freeway. A sirloin steak went for $22.50 and in one year Carl’s reportedly sold 16,000 prime rib dinners. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus has been at the demo site.
Chad Brunell kicks at bricks on the ground. He’s wants just the right one for a souvenir. He waited tables at Carl’s Chop House for 16 years until it closed two years ago. What’s Brunell doing now?
“Nothing. This supported me so well that I’m retired. We wouldn’t leave out of here with anything less than $250-$300 a night.”
What does the place look like now?
“A shame. Sad. I’m looking around and I see lights in the demolition that were hanging in the bar. Just the colors in the tile I can remember where it was at and what it was used for.”
According to Chad Brunell, Carl Rosenfeld started his chop house in 1942. Brunell says
Frank and Claudia Passalacqua then owned it for twenty years until they got divorced and she sold it to Mike Ilitch, who owns The Motor City Casino across the street.
“It was a family. We grew up together. Frank treated us like kids. We seen people come in here and get married. We seen people come in here and have a heart attack and die on the floor.”
I’m Chris McCarus in Detroit.