If You Never Got To Hoots, You Really Missed Something
All I can remember doing before any Detroit Tiger games was going to Hoot Robinson’s Beer Garden across the street from old Tiger Stadium. This small bar was iconic and the owner and bartender was an icon as well. This man who owned Hoots is now deceased.
He was an unbelievable man. To say the least, he had a great impact on me. I can’t remember who turned me on to this place, but it sure was something. It wasn’t the cleanest place but it had charm and charisma. It was a must for thousands of Tiger fans to go to Hoots.
Now, back to the man and owner of this historic establishment. I would go to this place just to pick this man’s brain about the bar business in the olden days. My family owned DeMarco’s Bar in Lansing, and I helped run it for years before I got into radio. So, I thought that if I could become friends with Hoot, I’d be very happy. That’s just what happened too.
Hoot Robinson and I became buddies. For the next few years in the '80s I would go to Tiger games and venture into the iconic saloon. Every time Hoot would be behind the bar waiting on a bar packed to the gills. Every time he would see me, he would come up to me, shake my hand and start a great conversation.
Now, you have to understand Hoot Robinson was in his 80s when I first got acquainted with him. He was 89 years old and still tending bar at his own bar. The guy was Superman. He always wore his necktie tucked into his dress shirt. So, I took that idea back to our family business and that’s how I wore my neck tie behind the bar.
It’s all gone now and has been for years. Hoot Robinson and Tiger Stadium were located in Cork Town in Detroit. If you never got to Hoots, you really missed something. Hoot Robinson should be in the Beer Garden Hall of Fame! They just don’t make those iron horses anymore.