Zukin's Restaurant and Deli Bombing
c '.vv ., h sr'f ) ' . i , si,v.;l : sw?-.-' sw?-.-' sw?-.-' sw?-.-' sw?-.-' ik.. ; f i A . ;' A ' fm - I ' Free Press Photo bv MANNY CRISOSTOMO Walter Zukin looks at the remains of his restaurant and delicatessen Tuesday. The Lafayette Park deli was firebombed. $250,000 DAMAGE Deli bombing shakes owner By ANDREA FORD Free Press Staff Writer Walter Zukin stood Tuesday in the charred remains remains of Zukin's Restaurant and Delicatessen in Detroit's Lafayette Park and wondered out loud if last week's nickel hike in the price of coffee had made someone angry. The joke was one of the few things Zukin could laugh about Tuesday, four days after someone fire-bombed fire-bombed fire-bombed his place, a favorite breakfast and lunch spot for politicians, lawyers and judges. "Why else would someone do something like this?" the 62-year-old 62-year-old 62-year-old 62-year-old 62-year-old restaurateur asked, smiling tightly and sweeping his arm around the blackened, debris-filled debris-filled debris-filled eatery he had operated 1 1 years. Booths had been burned down to the seat springs and decorative lamps that had once hung over crowded crowded tables had melted and dropped to the floor. In the kitchen, cans of food had burned on the shelf. THE FIREBOMBING occurred Friday, two hours before the restaurant opened. . A cook who was inside escaped uninjured. She did not see who was responsible. Police are investigating, but had made no arrests by late Tuesday afternoon. Zukin said damage estimates have been as high as $250,000. Lost in the fire were mementos collected in nearly 40 years of operating restaurants in Detroit signed photographs of the famous, including Mayor Young and the late singer-actor-political singer-actor-political singer-actor-political singer-actor-political singer-actor-political activist Paul Robeson, Robeson, and a testimonial from the Detroit City Council. Young occasionally dropped by for a meal, said Zukin, who owns another restaurant in Hamtramck and once owned 27 carry-out carry-out carry-out barbecued rib stores in the Detroit area. HE SAID he was stunned by the firebombing. "I couldn't believe the devastation," he said. The incident has also baffled nearby merchants, who refer to the well-liked well-liked well-liked Zukin as the "mayor of Lafayette Park." "He did a lot to contribute to this area. He drew a lot of people in," said Jack McNeal, who owns Jack's Beauty and Barber Lounge two doors from the restaurant. Zukin was unsure Tuesday whether he would reopen the Lafayette Park restaurant. "I don't want to renovate, open up, and then have this happen again," he said, adding, "I don't know who did this or why." . Attorney Kenneth Cockrel, a former Detroit city councilman and a frequent diner at the restaurant, said he will miss Zukin's if the restaurant doesn't 1 reopen. "It was the kind of place all kinds of people fell through, all colors, all races, of every political persuasion," said Cockrel.