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"He's baaaaaack." DTW

RedTop May 12, 2012 11:33 AM

An "old friend" wants to have you for dinner...


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  1. tokyo RE: RedTop May 12, 2012 12:19 PM

    I am unfamiliar - which fast-food and pizza franchises did he own/start? Is this good news for Greektown? It sounds a little all over the place...

    I'm curious about the connection to Cheesecake Factory, since it appears they won't be a franchise of that chain. Is it going to be retail brand frozen product?

    7 Replies
    1. re: tokyo
      RedTop RE: tokyo May 12, 2012 02:17 PM

      Part owner of Sweet Georgia Brown a shuttered restaurant in the same space as his new place.

      Full owner and COO of the majority of Pizza Hut restaurants in the states of Michigan, Ohio and PA. Full owner and COO of scores of Burger King franchises in the same states.

      Ran afoul of the Feds:


      Two of my grown children worked for this guy for too long a time. I heard much more entertaining stories than were ever published

      1. re: RedTop
        coney with everything RE: RedTop May 14, 2012 05:43 AM

        I think it's actually more interesting that the dude from "America's next great debacle, er, restaurant" is in on the deal...he got royally shafted by that show IMO, so I hope LaVan Hawkins isn't doing another shady here.

        Jamawn, keep your job at Chrysler if you still have it.

        1. re: coney with everything
          xman887 RE: coney with everything May 14, 2012 06:35 PM

          i had the pleasure of meeting mr. hawkins several years ago (before he was convicted) and talked business. i ended up staying as far away as possible. what a disaster.

          1. re: xman887
            ak994 RE: xman887 May 15, 2012 10:59 AM

            Why does this feel like re-electing Kwame? Whatever was this property owner thinking?

            1. re: ak994
              xman887 RE: ak994 May 15, 2012 12:00 PM

              have you ever seen kwame and lavan in the same room?

              my guess is that levan either owns the property (his sweet georgia brown used to be in the space - deep fried lobster tails - good god !?!) or he owes some serious back rent from when he occupied the space and convinced the owner that this would be a way of working off the debt (since nobody else can succeed in the spot despite reasonable foot traffic from the casino/greektown).

              1. re: xman887
                coney with everything RE: xman887 May 16, 2012 06:05 AM

                "have you ever seen kwame and lavan in the same room?"


                Maybe they can share a cell.

      2. re: tokyo
        jjspw RE: tokyo May 12, 2012 08:12 PM

        The place is called "Detroit Cheesecake Bistro" and they're not even making their own cheesecake?!?! The signature item that their NAME is based upon?!?!

        If people decide to patronize this place, it is just an open invitation telling restaurants to lower their standards and not even bother cooking their own food any more.

        Heck, even the Telway serves Cheesecake Factory cheesecake--this alone makes the point that Cheesecake Factory cheesecake is nothing for a restaurant to brag about.

      3. c
        charlesbois RE: RedTop Oct 9, 2012 12:29 PM

        anyone seen the article in Crain's yesterday?


        1 Reply
        1. re: charlesbois
          coney with everything RE: charlesbois Oct 10, 2012 05:14 AM

          I"m just an advisor...yeah, right. Everyone's an advisor

          And Kwame as an honored VIP guest...because his ego isn't big enough already, and he won't get enough time with criminals when he goes to Federal prison.

          Lumb crap on the menu. Sounds about right.

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