With the passing of its long-time proprietor, one of Detroit’s best kept secrets is no longer.
Steve Francis, who lived above the surreal bar he owned and operated along with his wife, Sophie since 1972 succumbed to cancer at the age of 90. He will be laid to rest in his native Greece.
Sophie does not plan to keep the doors open.
I had the privilege to shoot a (very amateur) short film inside this bar back in 2009 — a location like no other. It was loosely based on Steve himself.
“Steve’s Place” movie (official selection Flint Film Festival).
A premiere for my film was held there on January 23, 2010. The joint was packed to the gills.
Steve truly felt as though Hollywood had arrived on his doorstop. He always referred to me as ‘Mr. Bob’. I’ll never forget how fascinated he was with the barrel of hard pretzels I had on hand during the production. He asked me to bring him a few barrels. I did.
This previous article from the Metro Times paints a pretty good portrayal of both Steve and his bar (never was a man and his business so intertwined as one being).
I’m certain heaven greeted him with his customary Stroh’s and complimentary shot of Peach Schnapps (as was the usual way he served his customers).