Michigan is full of forgotten Playboy history

From wild parties to iconic clubs, Michigan has a rich history when it comes to Playboy.

The first Playboy Club opened at 1014 E. Jefferson in Detroit, replacing the former Stockholm Restaurant and directly across from Christ Church Detroit.

In its heyday, the Detroit club was a fixture for Detroit jazz musicians, and it featured celebrity performers.  It closed in 1972 and today, it's an office building.

A second Detroit Playboy Club opened in 1974 at 20231 James Couzens, or the Lodge Freeway service drive, at 8 Mile in northwest Detroit. That club replaced another popular restaurant -- William Boesky's Restaurant & Bar. William Boesky's son, Ivan Boesky, would make headlines and go to prison in the insider trading scandal in the 1980s.

The second club lasted until 1978.

A Playboy Club opened in Lansing in 1982 in a Hilton Hotel. It was the last remaining Playboy Club in the country when it closed in July 1988. The club originally was limited to members, who paid $25 a year.

But when business declined, it dropped the fee and opened to the general public in May 1987.

Michigan had other brushes with Playboy fame.

The late Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young had an honorary membership to the Playboy Club.

And in 2006, when Detroit hosted Superbowl XL at the newly opened Ford Field, Playboy hosted a lavish party at Coleman A. Young International Airport. Some 26,000 square feet of silver carpet was installed throughout the hangar space. 

And former Detroit Free Press Executive Editor Derick Daniels, who oversaw the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1967 riot, went onto become president of Playboy.

Daniels, who died in 2005, was credited with keeping Hugh Hefner's empire afloat through some rocky patches in the 1970s.

 

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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