Among the random things to show up in my e-mail today (thanks Jake and Wendy) is this photo of an old (and awesome) ashtray from the Merry Inn Tavern. The address, 917 W. Michigan St., would have been roughly where Mesaba Avenue meets I-35 today.
The Merry Inn Tavern and Michelizzi’s Italian Food grocery store were part of the Terminal Hotel throughout the 1960s. The whole works was operated by Michael Michelizzi until about 1973, which is probably when the building was torn down.
The name “Terminal Hotel” goes back at least as far as 1930, although city directories in the 1930s and ’40s often refer to the property simply as “furnished rooms.”
Michelizzi’s reign at the Terminal seems to have begun in the early 1930s. In the 1920s there is a listing for two blocks away, 1131 W. Michigan St., for Mike Michelizzi & Co., a store handling “Fancy and Staple groceries cigars tobaccos and fancy Italian imported goods Macamoni and Soft Drinks.” I’m not sure if there’s a fancy, little-known Italian item called “Macamoni” or if that’s supposed to be macaroni.
In the early 1900s, the Cholette Hotel was at 917 W. Michigan St. During Prohibition, it had a “soft drink parlor” at which, obviously, bootlegging took place. For some of the sordid details regarding that, read the comments to this post.
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