Remembering one fine Southeast restaurant

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, October 17, 2003

I wish my parents a wonderful "retirement" now that they have sold one of the finest restaurants that Southeast Alaskahas has ever seen. My parents are Rudy and Mary Pusich, two of the most hard-working and honest parents and business owners around.The "joint," as they would fondly call it, had its best times many years ago we can attest - but they were great times!

It has served meals to every territorial governor and state governor since 1937 - it was the place to be! It served as the "Catholic church" for Douglas, when an arsonist set fire to the main church.It has hosted oh so many famous people including John "The Duke" Wayne and the crew of the Love Boat, to name a few (mom could name a few more for sure).It hosted many more infamous people as well who just wanted to have the chteau brion, spaghetti, or bleu cheese dressing (who has that recipe now).

Mike's Place hosted nearly every Juneau-Douglas Senior Dinner for 20 years, and we all fondly returned for our 10- and 20-year reunions years later. The JDHS Drill Team "checked coats" during winter weekends for tips to help purchase those crushed red and black velvet "uniforms."March of Dimes "fashion shows" were also an annual event.

Yes, the same business ran by the owner who has fished in every Golden North Salmon Derby also fed the majority of volunteers for their annual awards banquet.

It was the home to the Douglas Lions Club for nearly 40 years, meetings where many community improvements ideas were hatched, including the early Douglas July 4 parades, and he had the first inkling of the ice rink.

It was the host for the "wake" when Douglas officially was annexed into Juneau.

I never knew my grandfather Mike Pusich, but I understand he was a real character, especially if dad/Rudy is a chip off the rock. Grandpa Mike was a mover and shaker for his day - for one he sealed the deal to get federal funding for the Douglas boat harbor.

He also started the business and my parents, extended family and many dear family friends spent countless but joyful hours at Mike's Place.I will miss it and ask that all of us who were touched during the last 66 years by Mike's Place, and Rudy and Mary, to raise your glass and make a toast to the all of those memories. Salute' - it was great!

Pat Pusich

Reno, Nevada

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