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The Gathering Place: Chow down on pizza

Co-owner Jenny McDonough serves pizza to regulars Kevin Schierlinger, left, and Chuck Clavenna. PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MILLER

Looking for a place to have great food and a good time? OU News Bureau reporters have visited some distinctive eateries in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties to learn more about what these places have to offer. Reporter Christian Miller visited The Gathering Place in Troy and spoke with co-owner Danny DeWolf.

Tell me about the history of this place.
This place has been here since 1936 and I’ve been here 36 years. It was first called I’ll Come Back Inn, which you can see at the front door. Then when I bought it in 1981, it was called The Troy Bar. Now, it’s been The Gathering Place ever since. I wasn’t raised in the restaurant industry, but I saw it for sale and knew that Troy was growing back then. I just took a gamble and here I am.

What does The Gathering Place offer its patrons?
Atmosphere. Not many independent local corner bar and grills are available anymore. Everything is franchised. We offer good food, large portions, low prices and great friendly service. It’s old school.

Why would someone want to come here?
A lot of people come in for the price. We have deals every day, and I don’t mean just drinks. We have pizza going. We have all types of family deals. We don’t call them specials, we call them deals, and they are exactly that. We put out really good food for a local corner place at the right price.

Co-owner Danny DeWolf lines up his last shot during a game of shuffleboard. PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MILLER

What do you do that’s different from other pubs?
If I had to say, it’d be our history. We offer to everybody. We offer it as a sports bar with a family atmosphere. We have families come in with their little kids. We have teams come in here. Blue collar or white collar, we just appeal to the whole menagerie of people. Most local bars just appeal to drinkers that sit at the bar.

What’s the one thing everyone should order here?
Our pizza would be the best. Everything on the menu is good, but pizza is probably the biggest draw. We’ve had deep-dish here for 36 years. Now, other franchises in the past two or three years have come out with deep-dish. We’ve been doing it the whole time. Also, we make our dough daily so everything is fresh. We give people the choice of 10 items to put on the pizza and they do their own thing. The vegetables and everything on the pizza are fresh, and we do a special blend of cheese. We don’t use mozzarella, but I’m not telling what it is, though, so sorry.

How many people work here? 
Twenty-five people. It’s been pretty basic along the way. We used to have a heavier lunch, but now we have a heavier dinner due to drinking laws. In the early days, people would have a beer with their lunch and go back to work. They don’t do that anymore. So, different times call for different levels of help.

What does the future hold for this place?
I hope it always is The Gathering Place. I don’t want to change anything. If it’s been working for 36 years it should continue to work. It’s like the old saying, ‘If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it.’ So, we just want to continue to do what we have done and keep our patrons and employees happy. We have fun. I don’t even let them call me the boss. I’m just Danny and I’m one of them. We all just chip in like family.

The Gathering Place is at 3985 John R in Troy, Michigan, and on Facebook. (248) 689-2039.

 

Short URL: http://www.ounewsbureau.com/?p=11463

Posted by on Sep 14 2017. Filed under Eateries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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