Roostertail Owners Celebrate “50 Years of Parties”

Proprietor Tom Schoenith talks about running a business through decades of change in Detroit.

Tom and Diane Schoenith run the Roostertail on Detroit’s east side, and recently threw a huge party to celebrate hosting events at the restaurant for five decades.  

Schoenith talks about booking Motown acts when the Roostertail first opened, and breaking the color barrier, “We had threats against our family, we had FBI watching our house…because we [booked] the Supremes.”

Schoenith has a unique perspective on the way the city has changed over the years.  He recalls, “We were giving champagne out on Woodward and Jefferson at noon [when the Renaissance Center was being built] and we couldn’t find anybody to give champagne out to, there wasn’t anybody downtown.”  Now, downtown is one of the best parts of Detroit, he says.

Regarding the changes he’s seen in party-goers over the years, he says, “There’s two huge changes.  Back then if you were drinking and driving it was your fault, now it’s my fault.”  The other change is party eating habits, “I brought some nuts for the young people and they said are you crazy? You can’t give young people nuts!  All the allergies!” 

Click the link above to hear the full conversation.