Arts & Culture » Culture

A peek inside Hamtramck's Conant-Caniff Market, aka 'The Rock 'n' Roll Liquor Store'

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Metro Detroiters in the know occasionally skip their corner party store to make the trek out to Conant-Caniff Market instead. They even have their own colloquial names for it: “The Rock ’n’ Roll Liquor Store” is a favorite, or more recently, “The Loud ’n’ Tall.” That’s thanks to the store’s reputation for blaring classic rock and for a selection of wares so diverse it borders on absurd. This is a liquor store on steroids — the place is filled to the brim with just about anything you could possibly need for a night of partying, stored on 20-foot high shelves, with some items even dangling from the ceiling on wires for maximum efficiency. True story: The guys here even once helped our buddy fix his car, stranded in their parking lot, using only items sold in their store.

If you're looking for beer, wine, or liquor, this place has that that in spades (offering over 500 different craft beers, for example). But you'll also find a wide selection of food, hookah pipes, flavored tobacco, toys, kitchenware, appliances, miscellaneous hardware, a surprisingly wide selection of underwear, and a couple of penis-shaped bottles of Armenian brandy — to name a mere fraction of the items available. Owner Mark Hamama, originally from Iraq, says the change happened seven years ago to set the store apart from the rest of the party stores in the region, and it worked. The store even has a pet yellow-crested cockatoo, Snowy, who makes appearances on Saturdays — possibly the only thing in the building not for sale.

The adjacent building, a former video store also owned by Hamama, is currently undergoing renovations, with construction slated to be completed in a month. Hamama wouldn't reveal just what his plans are for the building yet, though he says it will be a separate business and not an expansion. We're guessing it will maintain Conant-Caniff Market's charms and quirks, though.

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