Society Confidential: Aretha favored Beans and Cornbread

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
For the last eight months of her life, Aretha Franklin received dinner from the popular Southfield soul food bistro Beans and Cornbread.

Aretha favored Beans and Cornbread 

Shout out to Patrick Coleman, owner of Beans and Cornbread. For the last eight months of her life, Aretha Franklin received dinner from the popular Southfield soul food bistro. Patrick would plan the meals daily and made sure they were prepared to the Queen’s specifications. And although most of the meals were made in the Beans and Cornbread kitchen, oftentimes Patrick would send pizza or Chinese food from another one of her favorite restaurants. “Every now and then, she’d ask for something in particular that wasn’t on our menu, like oxtails” he adds. “We happily presented her with the best oxtail recipe we could find.” For more than a decade, Beans and Cornbread has provided food for Franklin privately or for her many events and parties. “For her big events, she’d purposely order more food than she needed so she could deliver leftovers to the homeless,” Patrick adds. “She did things like that all the time that people weren’t aware of.” Patrick has posted a banner with Aretha’s photo outside of the restaurant that guests are invited to sign.

Filmmaker Jeffrey Phelps with  Coach Jim Harbaugh.

‘Suburban Drives Michigan’ all revved up

Filmmaker Jeffrey Phelps has lived in L.A. for nearly two decades, but is originally from Michigan. Recently, his Michigan family has been begging him to come back home. “I love my family, so I decided I should make a show about it,” Jeffrey explains. “Should I move back? Why? What’s so great about Michigan?” The result is “Suburban Drives Michigan,” a 10-episode unscripted online series from Michigan Automotive Dealer Group, The Suburban Collection, about interesting people in interesting cars. And they’re all Michiganians. One episode features famed University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who can be seen with Jeffrey cruising Ann Arbor in a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. He actually did donuts around the block M on the field at Michigan Stadium. Other guests include Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoo CEO; Ann Parsons, CEO of the DSO; and James Robertson, The Walking Man. An episode featuring this columnist begins airing on Monday, including taking Jeffrey on a fashion shopping spree in a Bentley Flying Spur. A new episode is released every other Monday. You can find them on YouTube at


TV producer Andrena Hale casting for boaters ( Photo: Gerard Atillo)

Detroit boaters slated for the spotlight

TV producer Andrena Hale is in Detroit this week casting for a new show that she’s developing. The show is an unscripted docu-soap revolving around the African- American boating community in Metro Detroit. Andrena, a native Detroiter who currently resides in L.A., is known for her work in non-scripted genres of reality, doc-series, competition and game shows. “My intention for the show is to highlight the fun and excitement that happens during summers in Detroit, and to showcase the easy, breezy, charmed lifestyle that few outside of Michigan get to see,” she explains. “I’m in the early development stages of the show, so we don’t have a network home yet, but I can see the show playing on Bravo, WeTV, or Lifetime.”

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and hosts “Chuck’s World” from 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on 910AM Superstation.