Video: Mario’s restaurant employees get violent after blocking bike lanes

Mario’s restaurant in Detroit routinely ignores complaints about blocking new bike lanes in the Cass Corridor, using the lanes for valet parking.

Mario's restaurant
A Mario’s parking attendant.

When I politely asked parking attendants to stop blocking the bike lanes on Second Avenue last year, they tried breaking the windows of my car.

“Get of here, you faggot ass bitch!” one of the attendants yelled as he punched a passenger-side window.

They’ve harassed me since.

On Saturday afternoon, I took out my cell phone camera after the parking attendants started trouble once again. Then a waiter became involved and exclaimed to me, “I’ll kick your fucking head in.”

When I called the restaurant, they told me to come in. But as I walked toward the restaurant, a parking attendant rushed towards me and began yelling within a few inches of my face.

So I continued walking and haven’t heard from Mario’s since.

The bike lanes continue to be blocked for valet parking, creating a hazard for bicyclists.

 

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Jenny Haskell

    That’s been going on for decades! The cops just look the other way. Even the Wayne State cops who are always sticking their noses into local business, stay away from Marios.

  • falseprophet

    Nice one side of the story video here.

  • cleaner

    Thanks for the video Steve. I have been bringing my friends who visit to different Detroit restaurants. This one is definitely OFF the list.

  • Tom

    ASSAULT

  • Tom

    I wouldn’t care if they had the best eats.
    I’ve considered trying the place recently.
    The street guys were enough but when the waiter came out (your lucky they didn’t kill you!!) that sealed it for me.

  • Matt

    Is the bike lane blocked only when being used by someone valet parking? If so, is there enough traffic passing in front of Mario’s to make the occasional valet parking a safety issue?

    Mario’s needs valet parking, so I think a compromise is the right thing to do. I can easily see how bikers can compromise, and in light traffic it’s very easy, but I can’t see how Mario’s can. Do you have an idea short of telling them to get rid of valet parking?

  • Harry Palmer

    Someone should take this guy’s copy of “Goodfellas” away from him…for his own good.

  • Shatner

    great argument going on over how the street is painted. Surprised no one was killed.

  • Kim Corbeil

    Roma Cafe is infinitely better anyways! They are in the Eastern Market and would greatly appreciate and welcome you!

    • bdcanuck

      The have the bomb-diggity calamari and cocktails. I’m not big on their pasta dishes though. :/ Still infinitely better than the slop in a bucket served at Marios!

  • George Hill

    Can u say eggs. And a bite to the car owner that it’s Mario fault

  • Anna Grace

    You should get ahold of Wayne State Police if Mario’s is within their boundaries. They are able to give out parking tickets for the city. They seem to be more willing to take action when Detroit Parking and others won’t, especially if it’s a public safety issue.

    Capt. Emery Burk
    ac3793@wayne.edu
    313-577-6067

    • Donald E. Hodge

      That’s a good idea Cap.Does anyone know if they are?

      • Jordan Smellie

        WSUPD will generally deal with just about anything north of Mack/MLK, so they’ll likely be happy to help out here, especially if you have any sort of evidence of the repeated threatening actions and/or right-of-way obstructions by Mario’s staff.

        • muckraker_steve

          Thanks, Jordan. WSUPD has been very good with that area.

        • Donald E. Hodge

          Thank you Jordan.

        • Matt

          About seven years ago I was living on Prentis St. between Cass and 2nd. That’s between WSU and Mario’s. My apt was burglarized and I called the WSUPD, who came to my apt but then told me I was out of their jurisdiction. So they were willing to act as a first response but I had to file my case with the DPD.

  • Cathy Wellman Colombo

    It is confusing to me why this is such an issue for people who are not even on bikes! It appears that you are tying to stir up trouble for a business that has stuck it out in that location for decades. They were there long before midtown was a cool hipster hangout.

    • muckraker_steve

      It’s funny to hear these comments about “hipsters.” More than half of Detroiters don’t have cars. How do you think they get around? Bikes. All of us are expected to follow the law. When we don’t, there are consequences. The same goes with Mario’s.

      • Michael Cahn

        Yes hipsters. More than half of detroiters don’t have vehicles and yet no one complained in all these years. Now one hipster is mad and making a big stink. I’m sure the value of having a business in Detroit far outweighs the importance of placating a handful of “visitors” to the city. Most of these visitors/hipsters tough it out for a few years and then move anyways because you get tired of being accosted and your robbed every time u bike up to the store for cigarettes. Marios might suck in general and they may be handling this all wrong, but how is harming their business for your selfish personal agenda going to help this city in any way? Oh wait, u r most likely a hipster. You know, the type who is totally self-absorbed yet preaches revitalization of cities, but who can’t put this rediculous issue to bed merely because it was handled badly. Fuck the city and thriving business at this point. It’s all about you now.

        • Thee1tooth

          Really? You think over half of Detroit didnt mind not having a car? Or maybe its because they fucking couldnt afford one and had to spend 3 hours every day waiting for a shitty bus in shitty weather. Yeah, nobody complained did they. No, people complained you moron, the city nor the news just never listened to the people. People use bikes out of necessity. Not everyone on a bike is a hipster dipshit.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Your beautiful.

          • Thee1tooth

            <3

          • javierjuanmanuel

            People who want a bike lane over a restaurant job in the neighborhood are hispters.

            They would not want to be a valet either.

            Lots of sorta hispter ish people think restaurants are cool jobs, but they surely do not want their joint to close so 35 people can drive in a bike lane only in nice weather.

        • Thee1tooth

          How retarded can you get? Steve is a journalist, first of all. Second of all, if the dude didnt care about the city, why the fuck would be fighting to get the city’s fire departments to acknowledge how bad a state its in? When was the last time you did anything meaningful for the city?

          • muckraker_steve

            Thank you. I appreciate that.

        • el tortuga

          I give up, to whom would one complain. This being Detroit, after all.

        • bdcanuck

          Well, I’m a two-time DPS grad who’s been yelling into the wind about Mario’s doing this stuff for a decade, in case you need a little more Detroit street-cred before you listen to someone’s completely valid points. Steve doesn’t pretend this is the biggest problem facing the city, but it is a problem, and you know what? He’s got a platform that is free to put people on blast from. It’s not like he pays for electronic ink by the letter, and has to choose between this and the more important issues.

          • Michael Cahn

            Wow you graduated from Detroit public schools twice? Yes, I rescind my earlier comment. That is most definitely the amount of street-cred I was looking for. Consider me impressed. ive thought more about this topic (keep in mind though I only graduated the public school system once, and unfortunately not in Detroit) and I’ve decided the bike path is more important than the parking spits. It’s quite obvious to me now that once u have enough bike riders in a city who actually take the time to complain about 100 feet worth of blocked bike path, the city is obviously revitalized enough it must be a great neighborhood and all of those people who actually still drive down to marios partially because they know that their vehicles r safe directly in front of the restaurant can now just park down the block and still enjoy their meal. Because hey, this is a neighborhood that has finally made it back and their cars won’t be stolen or vandalized. Plus, down with business. If u own a business u must be a republican anyways. And we know that not only the biking set but also the vast majority of dps double grads hate them too.

          • bdcanuck

            My point isn’t that you should listen to me because I’m from Detroit, it’s that you shouldn’t discount someone’s views because they haven’t been here as long. Me being from Detroit is as irrelevant as whether Steve is or isn’t from Detroit. I only brought it up because you seem to think that only hipsters care about this issue.

            And it’s pretty obvious that you have no idea about the actual parking situation at Mario’s. Mario’s has a lit, fenced lot directly across the street from their restaurant. They don’t have to choose between blocking public spaces and the safety of their patron’s cars. If they had no choice in the matter, we’d be more sympathetic.
            https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3502213,-83.0659932,3a,75y,250.66h,83.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srs5Uw_gCxGtnHNfbPGp_oA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

          • muckraker_steve

            Thanks for your support.

        • Donald E. Hodge

          What are you the chef there?

      • Donald E. Hodge

        Steve, there is nothing in Detroit that makes me ever think of any part of the city being. ” hipster “.

        • bdcanuck

          Ever been on Farnsworth? 🙂

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Oh. I believe you babe.

        • jenjen 313

          Come to Corktown. We’re completely over run with em.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        I go down mack, east warren, harper, gratiot, groesbeck, jefferson all the time. There are not many bikers at all.

        Most of detroit you cannot possibly leave a half way decent 350 dollar bike locked up at a store, it will be stolen.

    • Thee1tooth

      If it’s confusing for you that a pedestrian was harrassed/borderline assaulted by restaurant employees after a reasonable grievance was presented then you are retarded. So just because you dont like hipsters its ok for them to be assaulted? I dont like guidos, so I guess under your logic, it would be ok to harass them under similar circumstances right?

    • bdcanuck

      They were equally bad to residents about blocking off parking spaces when I lived over that way 10 years ago. They’d block the parking on the street with cones so that their customers had to use their valet, but all the residents of the area were collateral damage to their shake-down of their own patrons.

  • Walter Whitman

    They won’t last long in Midtown. I’ll definitely never go there.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Bike riders do not last either. No one rides bikes when its raining sideways, when uts 20 degress nevermind negative 20 degrees.

      • Bradley Greene

        I actually do… I ride year round Ferndale to Dearborn and Downtown Detroit. Bike paths are very important.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          Its a figure of speech. Almost no one rides bikes in nice weather compared to cars, walking, buses, taxis. There are no traffic jams full of bikers on the nicest days. This is not mumbai, or Beijing.

          When its negative 20, virtually no one is on a bike. Hell virtually no one is outside if it sprinkles in oct and its 50 degreees out.

          • bebow

            Hardcore bikers aren’t fazed by weather conditions.

          • Thee1tooth

            Almost nobody rides bikes in nice weather except the hundreds out people biking around downtown Detroit every day.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Just let it go….we get it.

          • el tortuga

            Another reason might be, the bike lanes are being hi-jacked by venal businesses and the lanes aren’t being enforced.

          • Bradley Greene

            You’re full of shit is a figure of speech… Also, you’re full of shit.

    • Charles

      Won’t last long? They’ve been there since I can remember, and they’ve been playing loose with the parking for that long too.

      Go to the Roma for Italian; you can park your own car with no worries if you choose.

    • bdcanuck

      I wish you were right. They’ll survive though. Like the rats in their kitchen/dining room, nothing seems to kill Mario’s.

  • scioppa

    I had planned on bringing my party there this weekend but I think I will find another local restaurant for our event. It’s hard enough to get my friends to experience my love of Detroit with me without all this violence and drama!

    • Fred Campbell

      Even without this incident I would never recommend this place. There is far better Italian in the city, Mario’s survives solely based on reputation.

      • drbpor

        Roma Café is the best

    • bdcanuck

      Plus… that restaurant is the worst, you know, at cooking food. Check out Ottava Via in Corktown, or the half-Mexican half-Italian joint El Barzon!

      • skandy1

        or La Dolce Vita!

    • Harry Palmer

      Try “Vince’s” on Springwells… A friend of mine compared it to “Cardinali’s “, which is all I need to know.

  • JohnnyDoe

    The place is A Shit Hole anyways. I use to deliver to the kitchen all the time. Health Inspectors are paid Well !!

  • boblgumm

    This is precisely why detroit is not cut out for a yuppie/hipster invasion. Fuck you and your bikes. This is the motor city.

    • disqus_UOqCKnZReG

      lol wut? There is no reason for this kind of comment

      • javierjuanmanuel

        If he loses his business so a couple people can ride bikes 5 months per year and not really solve anything, because they will need a bus or car the rest of the year, there is a reason for the comment.

        Whats the reason to put in a bike lane, long term, whats it fix ?

        • Bradley Greene

          I cycle year round… You just like to complain don’t you?

          • javierjuanmanuel

            Yeah so did i when i was a paper boy. So what. Like i asked, what problem is a bike lane solving when even bike dudes only ride half the year.

            Whats the point

          • Thee1tooth

            Dont mind javier, he’ll argue over the color of the sky with you if you let him. He doesnt understand that most major city’s have made room for cyclists because of how popular its getting. It is great for the environment, great exercise, reduces traffic, and uses no gas. People like javier fail to see the bigger picture and would rather gripe and complain about progress instead of wanting to be a part of the change. Youll see him on other articles that feature a very positive story only to complain about it. A douchebag of the highest echelons of douchery.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            Hey dipshit, answer what problem it solves if people only use it a few months per year.

            Yes I know all the things you listed, its not secret, the point is people do not use them !

            A solution that only worth 5 out of 12 months is not a solution. You are kidding yourself.

            I am not complaining about bikes, or bike lanes. I am complaining about changing the laws and roads after the fact, and again, that nothing is solved.

            If you need taxis, cars, and buses to serve the people the other 7 months of the year, all that means is they run at low levels and cost more money. Why is this so hard for you to grasp.

          • bdcanuck

            What’s the point in valet parking, when people can park in that huge lot right across the street and just have someone watch the cars? It’s Mario’s right to have valet if they want to, but it’s not their right to block public property. Keeping the bike lanes open will not shut Mario’s down.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            If only 3-4 % less people come because there is no valet, then mario loses HALF his net income. Lots of restaurants run on less than 10 % net profit.

            If he used to make 200k, now he makes 100k.

            If he used to make 150k, now he makes 75k.

            its to much work, no guarantee, too much risk for too little money so then they shut down.

          • muckraker_steve

            That is weird math.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            moron math Steve.

          • bdcanuck

            Your order of operations are all wrong. If he makes 200k as his profit off 2MM in sales now, and loses the 3-4% of his sales, then he goes to 1.94MM to 1.92MM sales, and ten percent of that is 194k to 192k.

          • Bradley Greene

            Are you slow? I just said I ride ALL YEAR LONG… I’m 33 years old… So the paperboy thing is stupid and unnecessary…

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Not if your a moron.

          • Bradley Greene

            *you’re
            As in you’re a fucking dumbass.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Normally a person would have to go to a Bowling alley to meet a person of your stature. Good luck in Prison.

          • Bradley Greene

            *you’re

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Yes Dweeb……what is it now….,need help with spell check?

          • Bradley Greene

            You do apparently…

          • Bradley Greene

            As *you’re the one that used “your” instead of “you’re”… Also, dweeb is only insulting if you’re three to five years old.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            you would think with all that money your saving on shampoo you could afford to buy a car.

          • Bradley Greene

            *you’re…

          • Bradley Greene

            Literally the stupidest thing I’ve read in weeks. In fact the stupidest thing I’ve read since I last read one of your comments.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            So that is the best you can come up with after a month? You really are pathetic. Most of your brain left town along with your hair.maybe when you get a real job you can move out of your parents basement. Perhaps sell all your comic books could get get you the chance of kissing a women sooner then say ten years from now, which would put you at what 48 maybe. Go away. Come back when you gets some balls sissy.

          • Bradley Greene

            Wow… You out stupided yourself. Congrats.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      If he was there before a bike path, and parked there previous he should be grandfathered in unless the city is going to pay everyones eages for 4 or 6 months while they move, and pay for him to move. That will cost about 500-1.5 million.

      Its a bs move.

      He should not be hitting or yelling at people, but no one should buy a building, or sign a lease, have the city take your parking away, lose the business, lose your home to the bank that you put up for collateral, lose ohh about a half million bucks, and end up homeless and divorced in your 40s or 50s, so people can have a bike path. Thats a tragic injustice.

      • Thee1tooth

        He has a parking lot across the street. Nobody took his parking away. Plenty of other businesses around the world deal with the ever changing landscape that is part of being in a city. If you dont like change, get the fuck out of the way old man.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          Great, lets change it back, no bike path, old man.

          Cities are the spots with the most laws, things are propped up, tons of laws, tons of inspectors, tons of protected companies.

          It is not common at all that large amounts of your parking are taken away. or say liqour license.

          YOU do not get to take away a liqour license then say, shoooooot man, its up to you, figure out a way to stay open.

      • el tortuga

        I suppose you keep that outhouse in your backyard because it’s “grandfathered in”. If they have a parking lot across the street, why do they need valet parking.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          You do not understand the law.

          More like all of detroit has lead paint, asbestos, and mold.

          Nothing is being torn down.

          Why ?

          Because remediation costs tens of thousands, and the city let them be built that way, and let people live in them already.

          So are you going to call lead remediator, mold remediation, and asbestos removal companies this week ?

          Yeah I thought so.

          You want to be grandfathered in.

          Just like stuff in your car for safety and emissions.

          • Shatner

            lead paint, asbestos, and mold doesnt deter the scrappers

      • bdcanuck

        It’s…not…their…parking!

        • javierjuanmanuel

          It was theirs to use when they bought the joint and spend a couple hundred grand building out the restaurant.

          • bdcanuck

            It was never theirs. It was always public land. There is no room for debate on this. The city owns it, period.

  • bebow

    Walk on. Nothing there worth pausing over.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    Where is the Detroit Police in all this? you have video of employees claiming to do violence if you do not move on…….Well Sieg Heil Steve! How dare you even walk by that place Steve……I mean what do you think this is a free country or something……shame on you!….LoL ….yeah nobody is selling weed out of that place are they…..LOL!

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Cops do not come to your home if someo e is stealing your car or looting your garage, or neighbors have a chop shop or dog fighting ring and fight dogs every week.

      Not that this is legal, but he was not even touched, so you can count on them not showing up.

      They hit his car, try calling the cops saying your car was stolen, you know where it is, they will hang up on you before you get to the second part.

      • Donald E. Hodge

        Yeah,I know how Detroit works, I live there.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          ok, then why ask. I have not lived in detroit since i was a little kid, but live 1 mile away. You should know whats up then if you live there and did not just get off the turnip truck from college or northern macomb or oakland county.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            hopefully tomorrow I will wake up and be as perfected as you are……..ten thousand people die in this world everyday, how come your not one of them?

  • Donald E. Hodge

    Steve, who owns the Restaurant?

    • muckraker_steve

      It’s owned by Vincent Passalacya. In the video, you can hear one of the guys call for “Vince.” That’s the owner. He took it over from the original Mario’s guy.

  • Bradley Greene

    Same family owns Como’s… Just because they’re Italian(ish) doesn’t mean they’re not white trash.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      No racial slurs. Is this allows muckraker ?

      • Bradley Greene

        Not sure how that works when I’m white as a sheet…

        • javierjuanmanuel

          You think a slur is not a slur if you are white?

          Go look up what a racial slur is, see if it ceases to exist based on race.

          Maybe you mean bigot, or racist. In that case maybe you are a self loathing white.

          • Thee1tooth

            dunce

          • javierjuanmanuel

            Dunce, you think a slur is not a slur if its directed at white people?

            So a black guy can come on here and use the “N WORD” and no one will flinch?

          • bdcanuck

            Personal theory: “White Trash” is offensive to pretty much every race other than whites. The implication is that white people are already elevated above black/brown/yellow folks, but that when white people behave a certain way, they become the trashy version of white, lowering themselves to the level that other races are already at, since there is no “black trash” or “brown trash” etc.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            I am aware of what it means, I am half latin, half western european.

            I do not like the term.It bothers me that educated white liberals use it with abandon, i think even for the recognition they get from minorities for piling lumps on white people.

            Its very easy to test, you know who makes more than whites, has higher net income, higher credit, higher net worth ?

            Jews and asians.

            Now say white trash at U of M In front of a bunch of whites, no one will flinch. Call a white dude in a pickup white trash, ha ha its funny.

            Two weeks later find some jewish russian mob guy in NYC in the news, or asian mob in SF and call them jewish trash, and poor asian trash.

            Observe the difference in reaction.

            that is self loathing white liberal people.

          • bdcanuck

            I’m personally not fond of pejoratives in any case. I think they almost universally can be left out, and the conversation can move on just as well, and usually better.
            And yeah, sometimes when men rip on men, or whites on whites, I feel like they’re looking over their shoulder waiting for a pat on the head.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            it makes allot of white peoples year to be told they are one of the good ones. Well being told that by a minority, for being anti white.

            The same black dude who likes you for being anti white, hates ANY black person who does not side with his race and will call him a tom, and a race traitor.

          • skandy1

            So what does this have to do with Mario’s?? Picking an online fight?

          • WiserWords2

            Which “jews” are you referring to? They come in all hues.

          • Bradley Greene

            Wow… You’re a special kind of stupid aren’t you?

          • Bradley Greene

            You are a special kind of stupid huh?

        • Donald E. Hodge

          And extremely dull.

      • rhoneyman

        muckraker and deadlinedetroit thrive on the haters spewing filth.

  • Steve Dibert

    I know the food at Mario’s is so sub-par that its embarrassment to Italian culture but I never realized Mario was that big of a thug. I wonder if he’s doing a mafia bust-out like in Goodfellas if he’s hiring street hoodlums like that to represent his restaurant. PS Detroiters, Mario’s is dog food compared to what you get on the east coast.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      You do not have to go to the east coast for Italian. There are great italian joints all over michigan, and all over the mid west.

    • bdcanuck

      I like Ottava Via and El Barzon in Corktown.

    • Brian Mccann

      Cantaros in northville is better than marios…….