Grand Rapids/Wyoming – 4157 South Division, where Brann’s is now.
© Joey Harrison
“Narrative by Joey Harrison’s mother, Skip:”
“The nightclub where I worked had evolved over the years from barbecue stand to a quite sophisticated restaurant with dancing and live music, additions sprouting out in all directions as it prospered over the years. One constant was a collection of “tourist cabins” behind the restaurant. Here Jerry and I spent the second night of our married life, and he snapped me in the morning in front of the restaurant.”
© Joey Harrison
“The Southern eventually evolved into Brann’s on South Division Street in Wyoming, Michigan, a Grand Rapids suburb. It looks nothing like this anymore. I don’t know if the original building was swallowed by the current structure or if it was knocked down and rebuilt.
The Southern Barbeque [in Grand Rapids, Michigan] started out as a street-corner barbecue stand, depicted in a black-and-white framed photo in the lobby. By 1946 it was a full-blown restaurant and night club with live music and a dance floor. The ceilings were not high and it had an intimate feel with different smallish rooms, all with a small view of the band and dance floor.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights customers could dine and dance to the juke box. Friday and Saturday nights jumped of course, and then Sunday was a complete change. Couples and families, no liquor, and the “blue-plate special” was a biggie.
Unfortunately the original Southern burned down back sometime around 1960. The Brann’s is in a newer building on the same property.”
You can see hundreds more of Skip’s photos on flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeyharrison/sets/1071542/