Legendary Owner of Detroit’s Tom’s Tavern Dies at 78 –  Deadline Detroit

Tom’s Tavern (Google Maps photo)

Ron Gurdjian, the legendary owner of Tom’s Tavern in Detroit at 10093 W. 7 Mile Rd., a gritty, dive bar rich in character, died at age 78 at his home in Bloomfield Hills on Sunday night.

John Carlisle of the Detroit Free Press reports.

For nearly three decades, he was behind the bar at Tom’s, a rickety shack on 7 Mile Road on Detroit’s west side, the victim of countless cars that crashed into it and the slow effects of gravity. Yet it remained standing thanks to his dedication to its history and to the devoted customers who regularly came to see him.

Gurdjian was famous for his wit, his friendliness and his willingness to engage in long discussions about poetry, philosophy, history and the finer things in life. He often spent hours in the bar’s small kitchen, with a glass of wine in hand, cooking elaborate meals for the handful of people in the bar as Billie Holiday or Otis Redding played on the old-fashioned jukebox.

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