In places like Detroit, Ferndale, and Hamtramck, it seems like cool bars are opening at least once a week. Whether it's a brewery with an awesome tasting room, a bar that underwent a major rebranding, or a super stylized tavern with trendy decor and a hip vibe, these cities seem to get everything.
A little farther south, the community of Downriver can't say the same. Yet, the locals aren't complaining. They like their neighborhood watering holes as well as the more commercial joints just fine. But, when a new place opens up, the folks in this community usually show up in droves to support the establishment.
Bierkeller, located on Goddard and Allen roads in Taylor, is a perfect example. A German-style tavern and restaurant, it's essentially the total opposite of most of the area's drinking establishments. It's stylized, and maybe even just a touch hipster. The narrow space has a slightly German feel mixed with that rustic aesthetic that's so popular these days. Stop by on a Friday night and you'll likely have to wait for a table or even a spot at the bar, but the staff is friendly and attentive, even to those who are waiting for a seat.
On one side of the bar are low, provincial-style tables and on the other are high tops that don't quite match the rest of the place's aesthetic. Still, they offer much-needed seating on a busy weekend evening. Come 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, however, and some of those tables are repurposed for the live musical acts that provide entertainment throughout the remainder of the evening.
The menu at Bierkeller is filled with German-ish fare. For example, they serve sauerkraut balls — deep fried nuggets stuffed with pork sausage, kraut, onion, and cream cheese. German tacos, soft tortillas stuffed with corned beef, red cabbage, and haus sauce, and a German burger, topped with slaw and Swiss cheese, are also on the menu. They also have soft pretzels, schnitzel, and a even daily spaetzel special. The Bierkeller grilled cheese comes with sauerkraut, grilled onions, Dearborn sausage, and cheese and tastes essentially nothing like a grilled cheese. Unrelated to anything German, they also have a cupcake special every day. And who doesn't like cupcakes?
As for beer, their tap offerings are decidedly crafty with have selections from Short's, Bell's, Goose Island, Atwater, Jolly Pumpkin, Hoegaarden, Petrus, and Perrin. They also serve Labatt and Pabst Blue Ribbon, which we can appreciate. Chalkboards hung high over the bar also boast Beirkeller's craft cocktail selections, which capable bartenders whip up quickly.
Each night around 9 p.m., someone on staff hosts a bar-wide toast. The act, like the bar, is friendly, inclusive, and fun.