Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Memories of a Steak House Clan
G. L. Rockey
(with introduction by Les Roberts)


Blogger glrockey said...

A brief summary of the book:
Title: From the Back of the House: Memories of a Steak House Clan
Approximately 50,000 words, 125 illustrations

Located in the celebrated Cleveland Flats, Jim’s Steak House was the place to go for people from Cleveland to London and beyond. Thousands of patrons from boat captains to school teachers to movers and shakers celebrated anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, graduations, special memories, and more at JIM'S. While dining on their favorite choice cuts of beef and famous hash browns, they ogled the fabled Cuyahoga River, the Terminal Tower, and giant oar boats easing round Collision Bend.

Beginning with the restaurants founding in 1930 by Greek emigrant, James Kerkles, the story recounts his marriage to much younger and colorful Hilda Hoffman. Hilda, later to be known as The Queen of the Flats, and after Kerkles untimely death, nurtured her two most cherished "babies": Jim’s Steak House and her deceased sisters’ son, Raymond Rockey.

Adopted into the JIM’S family at the age of ten by life long restauranteur, Raymond Rockey, I grew up living in the apartment above JIM’S and witnessed, from the back, top, and front, what some call the "hospitality business." This is a personal recollection–“cynical, biting, opinionated, humorous, poignant, revealing–of JIM’S and the clan that were a part of a major city’s restaurant scene for sixty plus years.

No small potatoes, noted Cleveland author Les Roberts' detective Milan Jacovich has a fictional office next to JIM’S. In real life, Roberts hung out in JIM’S lounge and has written an introduction to this book.

Inserted throughout are scrapbook photographs, newspaper reviews, magazine articles, and JIM’S menus that verify and chronicle a colorful chunk of local history and culture. As to marketing and sales, Ray Rockey often boasted that JIM’S "sold a ton a meat a week." That’s many a mouth full and even more "book" full. Come to mind, Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk.

As to myself, a free lance writer for ScripType publishing, Richfield OH, I write articles about people and places of local interest. Other writing experience includes published novels The Journalist, Time&Chance, and Truths of the Heart. Also, Bats in the Belfry, Bells in the Attic, a collection of sixteen short stories.

Review of work at and

KEYWORD: G. L. Rockey

1:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This will bring back fond memories of many lunches that I enjoyed there, including the delicious beef fat ladened hash browns.
Dick Jansik

5:21 PM  
Blogger glrockey said...

From the Back of the House: Memories of a Steak House Clan is contracted by Heritage Books and is expected to be published in the spring of 2009.

6:03 AM  

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