After decades of memories, brothers closing the doors at Ginopolis' in Farmington Hills

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The longtime owners of a popular restaurant in Farmington Hills have made plans to close the doors. 

Ginopolis' has been at the corner of 12 Mile and Middlebelt since 1979. But now, co-owners and brothers Peter and Johnny Ginopolis have received an offer for the property to build an assisted living center - and say it's the right time to sell. 

"My brother Pete and I talked it over, we feel this is the right time. I'm at an age where I want to kind of slow down a bit, and my brother's looking out a place out in Brighton that he wants to go into business with his son," Johnny told us. 

The brothers couldn't say yet when their last day will be, but know it will be within the next three of four months. For them, ending their successful restaurant run is bitter sweet. Especially considering the several employees that have been with them for decades. 

"A lot of things have happened here in the last 40 years on this corner," Johnny said. This also includes many celebrities walking through the doors - including Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and Muhammad Ali. The photographs of their famous faces still line the walls of the restaurant. 

"Only in America, two little Greek boys from Detroit get a chance to meet all these people," Johnny said. 

"You know he called us by first name," Peter chimed in, talking about Frank Sinatra. "And we called him by first name."

The restaurant evolved from its days as Ginopolis' in Greektown, to Ginopolis' in Rochester, to Ginopolis' on the Grill where it is now. In 1984 the restaurant was even named one of the top 10 singles bar in the area, and the brothers told us about how they used to have dinner and dancing. 

"We had 8 to10 car parkers on a night, that's how busy we were. And we had a line [of people] seven days a week out there trying to get in," Peter said. 

Over time their menu evolved as well to incorporate specialty barbecue items, which is an expertise Peter is taking with him on his next venture. He, his wife and son are opening up a smokehouse in downtown Brighton. 

So, what's something the brothers attribute to their decades of success? 

"Treating people nice," Peter said. 

"In order to have someone respect you, you have to respect them and I think we've done that throughout the years," Johnny added.

Then Peter summed it up best, "One of our mottos was, you're only a stranger here once."

Ginopolis' is still open for lunch and dinner service, and say they'll keep us posted about when their final day will be. In the meantime, you can check out their menu and hours here.