Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tom Joubran, R.I.P.

Tom Joubran, a legendary Flintoid perhaps most widely known as the owner of the Mikatam Lounge, died on Friday. Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal reports:

Joubran was a Genesee County news-maker for decades, opening attention-getting businesses and locking horns repeatedly with former county prosecutors Arthur Busch and Robert Leonard.

He emerged as a key figure in a criminal investigation of Donna D. Poplar, a former county and city of Flint official, who was eventually found guilty of bilking Joubran out of $50,000 on the pretense that she could stop a criminal investigation of him.

Joubran immigrated to the United States in 1950 and was hired by his uncle at Mansour Supermarket in Flint Township, working his way up to assistant manager of the store.

8 comments:

  1. I didn't know the bit about Mansour's. My parents regularly drove all the way out there (pretty far in the boonies back then) because it was such a large (for the time), well stocked, well managed store. I spent many hours sitting on a little-boy-sized shelf behind the comic book racks, reading to my heart's content while (usually) my Dad did the week's shopping.

    Mr. Joubran, rest in peace.

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  2. Where was Mansour's, JWilly, on Corunna Rd.? I remember being really small and going there. It probably was the mid to late 1950s. I vividly remember leaving a bunch of plastic letters on the living room floor, going to Mansour's with my mother, and returning to find that my father had picked the letters up and put them on the top shelf of the closet. I remember that Mansour's had rather austere decorating compared to Hamady's. There were painted steel roof supports, compared to a tiled ceiling in Hamady's. Nowadays, the austere ceilings are the rule rather than the exception.

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  3. I remember the Mikatam Lounge, but can't remember where it was/is. Is it still there? Where?

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  4. The Mansour Market still stands. it was the first building in front of what is now Walmart. It is on the corner of Corrunna and the access drive that connects Corrunna to Genesee Valley Mall. Its right across from White Castle. I think its a sports store now?? I could be wrong on the current use? When you get to the front door there is a plaque on the outside of the building embedded in the brick that says "Mansours Market".

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  5. The Mikatam Lounge....forgot all about that place. Seems like it was THE place to go when I was growing up and somewhate "under age". Wasn't it out on Stanley Rd somewhere? I remember the name of the place was derived from Jobran's kids: Mike, Kathy and Tammy.

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  6. The Mikatam was on the corner of Genesee and Stanley Road in Genesee. There was a fire and then it was restored and became a Bingo hall for a number of years. But it's gone now. It was right next to the railroad tracks.

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  7. > I think its a sports store now??

    It was Dunham's Sporting Goods until 2008, when Dunham's moved to Miller Road.

    http://www.mlive.com/flintjournal/business/index.ssf/2008/11/dunhams_sports_opens_in_new_lo.html

    I think the ex-Mansour's building is still being used by Dunham's as warehouse space, because they haven't been able to sell it in the current economy.

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    Replies
    1. With all respect to Mr. Joubran's memory, a bit more on the old digs of his early employer:

      Dunham's sold (or maybe gave away as a tax writeoff?) the building to Salvation Army, which is operating it as a thrift store and donation center.

      The building unfortunately had all of its external personality removed by having cement-board glued to the entire outside and stucco-sprayed. Very ugly, and it covered over the "Mansour's" block in the original wall. So, the last people who will know of the original use will be a few older locals and the readers of this blog/forum.

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