June 7th, 2017
Chef “Sweet Lorraine” bids a “fond farewell” to Greenfield Road!
After almost 33 years at the helm of the original “Sweet Lorraine’s Café & Bar” on Greenfield Road in Southfield, MI, Chef Lorraine Platman announces that she will be permanently closing the Greenfield Road location on Sunday, June 25, 2017. “It’s been a Fabulous ride!” said Platman, who opened the restaurant in 1984 with her husband, Gary Sussman. “It’s been a labor of love.” she added, but “Dealing with the challenges of my health issues has made it increasingly impractical to continue operations at the pace that is required to continue to be successful.”
Platman says her personal health concerns prevent her from keeping up such a busy, hectic pace. The physical demands of the kitchen have taken their toll over the decades and she says she needs to cut back on such a busy schedule.
“Sorry if I haven’t been able to spend enough time in the dining room recently– visiting with all of our “regulars” and long-time friends—but my poor, old aching back, neck and arthritic thumbs don’t allow me to keep up the frantic pace.
The restaurant opened in the former Raven Gallery location to Rave Reviews and loyal fans on November 21, 1984. In 1985, Molly Abraham dubbed the eatery, “The Restaurant of the 1980’s” just after it opened. Another reviewer called it “Trendy with a Conscience”. It earned status as a “Restaurant of the Year” in 1989 by Monthly Detroit magazine. Zagat Guide reviewers rated it “One of Michigan’s Ten Most Popular Restaurants” in the 1990’s. In 2004, Hour Detroit magazine’s readers voted it “Best Eclectic Menu”. Chef Platman even received many “vegetarian Restaurant” awards, even though the Café has offered many dishes (think Pecan Chicken) that contained meat.
Chef Lorraine continues to earn glowing reviews and awards right up until the present, with a recent award by the readers of The Detroit Metro Times, for the “Best Mac & Cheese” in Southeastern Michigan, awarded to her “Mac n’ Brewz!” offshoot in 2016.
Platman started her culinary career with the opening of “Sweet Lorraine’s Deli & Café” in Madison Heights in 1982. She continued to operate that original location for 21 years, until it was closed in 2003. The Ann Arbor “Sweet Lorraine’s Cafe & Bar” was opened in 1993 and was subsequently moved to its current home in the Livonia Marriott Laurel Park Place, where it has been in operation since 2000.
Chef Lorraine was one of the first local chefs to embrace the now ubiquitous “Farm-to-Table” ethos, supporting scores of local farms and producers through the years. Her cuisine, which she calls, “World Beat Cuisine”, includes globally-inspired ingredients and presentations that almost always include a “Twist on a classic!”
Over the years, Lorraine has opened restaurants all across Southeastern Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvannia, but she will always have a place in her heart for the Greenfield Road location. She says, “It is indeed bittersweet–with so many memories and millions of happy guests over the last four decades-—but I have to be realistic and do what is best for our staff and my health.”
Chef Lorraine will continue to support her culinary partners and staff at the Sweet Lorraine’s Cafe & Bar in Livonia, “Mac n’ Brewz!” locations in Midtown Detroit and Waterford, “Mac n’ Cheez!” locations at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, the GM Renaissance Center and Vernon Hills, Illinois and also the newest Sweet Lorraine’s location to be open this summer at the “On The Dunes” sports facility on Haggerty Road in Commerce called “Sweet Lorraine’s GameTime Grill”.
She will also continue to support her favorite charities–as she has done throughout the years—both personally and professionally. Lorraine hopes to spend time writing cookbooks, giving back to the community and helping a new generation of restaurateurs.
Chef Lorraine Platman invites her guests to “join us and share memories” at the original Sweet Lorraine’s Café & Bar before it closes permanently on Sunday night the 25th of June, 2017.
“Although it might sound a little corny” Chef Lorraine Platman continued, “I love this saying: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened!’”