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Roger's Roost in Sterling Heights celebrates 50-year anniversary

Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 17:26:54-04

There was a lot of national turmoil in the year 1968, like the Vietnam War, Civil rights movement and some infamous assassinations. But for one local man, he made the purchase of a lifetime, turning an old bar into an iconic restaurant in Sterling Heights that still stands today.

Roger’s Roost is celebrating its 50-year anniversary. From 1968 to 2018, Roger’s Roost has been growing.

The original owner, Roger Kotlarz, bought a small bar on Schoenherr between 14 and 15 Mile Roads. He turned it from a place that holds about 50 people, to seating around 700.

Carl Schmidt said, “There is no place just like this place anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.”

Schmidt first started working here since he was 16. After 25 years, he worked his way up to general manager.

He says Roger’s Roost is kind of like “Cheers,” where everyone knows your name, even if you’re new to the place.

“We are personal and we remember.”

The current owner is Roger’s younger brother who is keeping that legacy alive.

“I’d recommend coming in for the Chicago pizza.”

The pizza is made with the original recipe.

Roger’s Roost survived economic turmoil over the years, which included when business goes down due to construction on Schoenherr.

Schmidt says they have the “recipe” to handle pretty much anything.

“Tighten up our belt straps and did the best that we could and continue to provide the best product that we could provide and the best service we could provide,” he explained.

Schmidt said the food reflects trends but they always have key entrees that have been selling for years, like pizza, ribs and burgers.

“It’s about the feeling at-home feeling,” he added. “It’s Roger’s Roost, where do the chickens go? They go to the roost. You go home and it’s got that homey-ness feeling whereas people feel welcome here.”