Danny Raskin, columnist for the Detroit Jewish News for nearly 80 years, died Sunday, July 26, after a fall a few weeks ago. He was 102.
Raskin typically profiled a restaurant and its people in a weekly column called “Best of Everything” that launched in 1964. He’d usually include a joke and end with salutes to readers on their birthdays or anniversaries. But he didn’t like writing negative reviews.
“One thing I will not do: I’ll never bum-rap a restaurant because I know how much it costs just to put that damn key in the door!” he told the Jewish News in an interview for the 70th anniversary of the paper in 2012. “People don’t realize it, but when you go into a restaurant, there’s a lot of money just for him or her to open up that door. Insurance, licenses, gas, fixtures, employees — it costs a lot of money.
“If I had a bad experience, I would tell the owner what to do to fix it. But, I would not write about it. And then, I’d come back again when it’s all fixed up. And if it’s done properly, I tell them I’ll see if I can get something in the paper. To this day, I still try to help out.”
Mark Zarkin of Steven Lelli’s Inn On the Green in Farmington Hills, spoke to The Detroit News in 2019 about Raskin’s impact on the restaurant industry.
“He’s like E.F. Hutton. When Danny writes, everyone listens,” Zarkin is quoted as saying. “It’s every restaurant owner’s wish to be in Danny’s column ... The next three weeks, they’re calling like crazy.”
Raskin, who was born in January 1919, attended High School of Commerce in Detroit, then spent a year at Detroit Institute of Technology. He worked for the Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News when the start-up Jewish News lured him away.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the day of Raskin’s death.
- Danny Raskin, JN’s Weekly Columnist of Nearly 80 Years, Passes Away at 102 [Detroit Jewish News]