July 11, 2014 at 1:00 am

Society Confidential: From one beer lover to another

The Stroh's Brewery in Detroit. (Detroit News Photo Archive)

From one beer lover to another

The July 21 issue of Forbes features an eye-opening story, “How to Lose $9 Billion: The Fallen Stroh Family,” (Forbes.com) detailing the rise and fall of Detroit’s hometown brewing family. Bernhard Stroh founded the brewery in 1850, and by 1988, the Strohs controlled the largest beer fortune in America. They lost it after a series of business blunders in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Stroh’s heiress (not that there’s much left) Frances Stroh, now of San Francisco, has a chapter of a memoir up on amazon.com, “Everything Known and Visible: Beer, Detroit and Growing up Stroh” ($2.99). In somewhat overripe prose, Stroh describes a luxurious yet dissolute, druggy life led by the younger Stroh generation, as well as her father Eric’s profligate spending and disappointment at being edged out of the company. The Forbes story offers more historical context, describing how John Stroh would walk the brewery floor in the 1950s and know every employee’s name, and of the staggering wealth the Stroh family enjoyed. A full-length memoir by Stroh is supposedly in the works.

Who's the chef?

Joe and Rosalie Vicari hosted a lavish soiree at their Andiamo Restaurant in Bloomfield Township on Wednesday. Eleanor and Dr. Leonard Aronovitz (the king of hair transplant surgery) co-hosted the bash, which drew several hundred Oakland County A-listers. Dr. Leonard wore a monogrammed chef’s coat all night, confusing a few guests who didn’t know him, and went from table to table telling jokes. Guests included Somerset Collection’s Sidney and Maddie Forbes, Art Van Furniture CEO Kim Yost and wife Donna, philanthropist Susu Sosnick, steel magnate Ken Eisenberg and wife Frances, and interior designer Susan Winton-Feinberg. The food was so well received that Vicari says, “You just might see some of these as regular Andiamo menu items.”

Dead or Alive

Friends of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Antonia “Toni” McLemore are relieved to know that she’s alive and quite well, thank you, despite reports by a local magazine. In its current issue, Native Detroiter features a tribute to prominent Detroiters who died recently, “whose lives have impacted the fabric of our city.” On the side of the page, in a section called “Roll Call: In Loving Memory Of,” amongst the likes of the late Judge Willie Lipscomb, businessman Delbert Gray and Anna Gordy Gaye,there is the name of Antonia McClemore. “The people at the magazine sincerely apologized and said they will print a retraction in the next issue,” Toni told us at a DIA bash last week, adding, “It really kind of creeps me out.”


One of first billboards for Stroh's beer.
Dr. Leonard Aronovitz, left, wife Eleanor, with Rosalie and Joe Vicari at ... (Patrick Gloria)