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"Beginnings" Hip Pocket Sandwich

The History

“History was in the making here this past Memorial Day weekend as Dave Opperman and his New Reformation Dixieland Band became the first ‘popular’ music group anywhere to record an album in a revolutionary new sound technique known as ‘Ambosonic’ or ‘surround sound.’ “
“Appropriately enough the event took place at Saginaw’s ‘Beginnings’ Restaurant on Bay Road, in front of a standing-room only crowd on Sunday, May 25. The performance concluded a six-month engagement for the band.” “Local band makes recording history.”

-- The Saginaw News, June 7, 1981

Beginnings Restaurant was located at 3823 Bay Road – today the building houses G’s Pizzeria. It opened in 1978 or 1979 and advertised as “an enjoyable restaurant anytime and everytime with a comfortable lounge for the music lovers’ intrigue. In other words, a nice place to visit and stay a while.” The décor was an eclectic mixture of exposed brick, stained glass and the restrooms featured picture windows with a dramatic view into a private garden.

The Saginaw News announced on January 19, 1980, “Music by the New Reformation Band has turned into a weekly Sunday afternoon happening at the Beginnings Lounge.” The New Reformation Band remained a popular staple of restaurant’s Sunday brunch until February 1981. Beginnings Restaurant closed in 1982 and in June of that year Margarita III opened in the building and was later replaced by La Senorita.

Beginnings closed forty years ago, the New Reformation Band continues and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2020 and an exhibit at the Castle Museum celebrates the groups’ accomplishments. The e includes a photograph of their performance at the restaurant and a copy of the album recorded there.

The New Reformation Band will perform on June 8, 2022, at Jazz on Jefferson. Although none of the food vendors at Jazz on Jefferson will feature dishes from Beginning’s menu, below is a recipe for one the long-gone eatery’s signature creations.

The Recipe

This is a recreation based on a menu description, and memory.


For each serving you will need

  • 1 whole piece of pita bread

  • 4 slices of Monterrey jack cheese

  • Approximately 1-2 cups of salad greens

  • A few pieces of thinly sliced red onion

  • 4 slices of tomato

  • Alfalfa sprouts

  • Ranch Dressing (the Hip Pocket was served with eh house dressing and it is the general consensus of those of us a certain age that it was a form of ranch dressing.)

Serve with fruit salad or fruit kabobs. Different versions of the menu suggest it was served both ways.


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