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Jake's Bar

The Black Bottom-Paradise Valley area is known and remembered as a notable Black neighborhood. It was also home to several immigrant communities, including Eastern European immigrants. Jake’s Bar was owned by Mr. Jake/John Levine (born Jacob Chafetz) and his brother-in-law Mr. Morris (Moishe) Hoptman, both Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Russian Poland. The bar operated at 1670 Hastings St from 1937 to 1955.

Black and white photo of Morris Hoptman serving a drink to a patron in Jake's Bar.

Morris (Moishe) Hoptman, co-owner of Jake's Bar, served drinks to Black Bottom-Paradise Valley residents.

According to Morris’s grandson and Jake’s great-nephew Ari Hoptman (email to Black Bottom Archives, April 27, 2021), who also supplied this entry’s photographs, "Morris had run a small grocery store previous to this and Jake had a number of small business ventures.”

Black and white photograph of Jake Levine.

A young Jacob Levine, who co-founded and lent his name to Jake's Bar.

Ari further notes: “Music may have been played there, but I can’t quite imagine my grandfather or his brother-in-law knowing much about the blues or which acts to book. I hope I am wrong, though!”

Ad for Jake's Bar from The Detroit Free Press (1941), with wording "All Kinds Drinks".

Ad for Jake's Bar from The Detroit Free Press (1941). "All Kinds Drinks" might be a translation from Yiddish or it may have been a way to save a few cents on the number of words. (email to Black Bottom Archives, April 27, 2021)


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