Former owner of longstanding Detroit bar Ed Jacoby has died

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A former owner of popular German bar Jacoby’s, Edmund “Ed” Jacoby has died at 92. 

Jacoby was just shy of his 93rd birthday when he died on July 15, his family reported to Birchwood Farms Gold & Country Club, which sent an email to members about his passing. 

Jacoby's Bar & restaurant on Brush Street, in Detroit, Michigan,  August 24, 2005.

“Ed treasured his many years at Birchwood enjoying the fellowship of other members and participating in golf and other activities,” reads the email. “Those who knew Ed were drawn to his infectious personality that was fine-tuned during his long tenure as owner and operator of Jacoby's Biergarten in downtown Detroit, known as the best place for German food in Michigan during the 1970s and ’80s.

According to Jacoby’s website, the tavern at 624 Brush in Detroit was founded by Ed Jacoby’s grandparents, Albert and Mina Jacoby, in 1904. (He was from Luxembourg, and she from Germany.) Ed Jacoby ran the family business from the 1960s until he sold it to the Bell family in 1995; they ran the bar and restaurant until 2006 when they sold it to Chicago investor Wally Wolff. According to Crains Detroit, Wolff sold Jacoby's to an investment group in 2016. 

Jacoby sold the bar because “it’s time, that’s all,” he told Detroit News columnist Pete Waldmeir in 1995. “I’ve been here 54 years and I’m getting old and crotchety and it’s not that much fun anymore. I’ve listened to more stiffs than I can handle.” 

According to Waldmeir’s article, Jacoby was hanging up his bar towel for the construction business. 

In addition to being a member of the Birchwood Farms Country Club in Harbor Springs, Jacoby co-founded the Birchwood Men's Bible study group in 2007.