Preparing tasty dishes from scratch that put a smile of the faces of his customers has long driven George Subu.
“I have a passion for the restaurant business,” Subu said. “I love it when customers tell me they really enjoyed a meal we made for them.”
Subu, working with this three sons, have produced many satisfying dishes and social gatherings for a decade at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle, a 7,800-square-foot restaurant with a banquet room located on Farmington Road, just south of Eight Mile Road. The Livonia restaurant is known for its fresh variety of lunch and dinner meals, headlined by its signature dish: Filet Mignon with Zip Sauce.
Working with his sons at The Leather Bottle is the latest entrepreneurial chapter for Subu, an immigrant from Eastern Europe who grew up working in his parents’ pizzerias and arcades.
Subu has been cooking meals since the 1970s when we worked at fine Dearborn establishments such as the Hyatt Regency, The Chambertin, and Dearborn Inn. He became partner and chef in 1981 when he began working at the Topper Restaurant in Dearborn.
In 1999, Subu and his oldest son, Johnny, came to Livonia and operated the former Sandtraps Restaurant on Five Mile Road (now known as One-Under). They were bought out in 2003, which left them looking for a new home.
“We wanted to stay in Livonia,” Johnny Subu said. “We knew a lot of people liked us at Sandtraps, and we felt they would follow us to a new place in Livonia.”
They found an opportunity when the Leather Bottle site, a restaurant originally built in 1979, became available for sale. George, and sons Johnny, Georgie, and Michael took over in May 2004, and rebranded the place: G. Subu’s Leather Bottle.
“This worked out for us because we were able to combine our known reputation for good food and service with the Leather Bottle, which has been known for years in Livonia,” Johnny Subu said.
The family’s philosophy has been to provide “comfortable cuisine,” which Johnny Subu describes as “upper-hand food with lower-hand pricing.” He added all meals are homemade and free of processed products.
“We always believed if we have good, quality food and service, they will come,” he said.
David Smith has been a loyal customer for 25 years. He started enjoying George Subu’s cooking at the Topper in Dearborn. The one-time Livonia resident now lives in Brighton, but he remains a regular at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle.
“It is the best food in town because it is of good quality – and it is noticeable,” Smith said. “The great people and the camaraderie here is a plus.”
To celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary, customers can enjoy a bottle of wine each Monday evening this summer for $10. The Subus will formally celebrate the anniversary with a special buffet and other goodies during a customer appreciation dinner on Monday, Aug. 18 from 5-8 p.m. For details, call the restaurant at 248.474.2420.