(Crystal A. Proxmire, 3/25/2011)
When Sicilia Grego was just 22 years old she started the business that would allow her to raise her son George, who was just a baby back then. As Como’s (22812 Woodward) turns 50 years old on April 1st, Grego was honored with a visit from United States Congressman Sander Levin, who presented the still-vibrant entrepreneur with a flag that was flown over the US Capitol in her restaurant’s honor.
Levin was joined by former Mayor Bob Porter and current Mayor Dave Coulter in speaking a bit about the restaurant’s history in Ferndale. “It is so great to see you still here after 50 years in business. There are statistics about how most restaurants start and fail within five years. So it says something to be here this long. Any successful restaurant has great food and great service, but you also have your commitment to the community,” said Coulter.
“You’re warm even when it’s cold outside,” Levin said. He spoke with Grego about her business and the pizza that made them famous. “It was my dad’s recipe,” Grego said, noting that it hasn’t changed in the half decade since Como’s first introduced it in a small restaurant that was only the size of the main dining room now. Since April 1, 1961, they have expanded to include a bar and a large area for patio seating. The location right on the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward, and the restaurant’s original neon sign, are both striking feature’s of the restaurant’s facade. And in a tiny room at the front of the restaurant, another unique feature allows customers to watch their pizza’s being made by George. Grego, still the hard-working matriarch, does the baking and making the soup.
“The best thing has been being able to raise my family,” Grego said. “I have seven grandchildren. Being able to see them grow is a very good feeling. …I did all this so I could be around for my son George to grow up. Every day I would change diapers, wash my hands, cook.”
Como’s does not have a website, just good old fashion pizza. Stop by their restaurant at 22812 Woodward to give it a try.