- Photo by Tony Lowe.
When we stopped by Exodos Rooftop Lounge in Greektown a couple Thursdays ago, co-owner Yanni Dionisopoulos was busy setting up for an event, a CD-release party for a local musician. The patio doors were wide open and sound check was loudly blaring, “Check, check, check,” making it hard to hear Dionisopoulos from behind the bar. While the weather was slightly damp, the atmosphere in the bar was warm and inviting, and Dionisopoulos immediately poured a round of shots.
Just upstairs from the Golden Fleece, Exodos is run by the same family behind the iconic restaurant. While there is an entrance on Monroe, dinner guests can also ascend the backstairs inside the restaurant to continue their evening in an entirely different space with a wholly different feel.
At the behest of Dionisopoulos, we came to review the bar, the atmosphere, and the drinks available at Exodos. He poured us a gin fizz, and intermittently stopped to chat about the offerings of the second-story bar between strolls through the space to assure set-up was going smoothly.
Now in his early 30s, Dionisopoulos (who runs the bar with his cousin Speros Dionisopoulos) grew up in the hospitality industry, having headed the bar since it opened in 2003. According to him, his father was the first to open a rooftop patio in Greektown, making Exodos’ adjacent al fresco lounge the oldest in the area. Outfitted in whitewashed wood, with dark wood floors, the patio features bench seating and a bar and is generally filled with good-looking people with great hair (despite the humidity, magically) drinking beer. There’s also a dress code, which deserves a direct quote: “If it was on the Jersey Shore, it’s not coming through the door!”
Sounds good to us.
Though the patio is open during the warmer months, Exodos remains open year-round, which Dionisopoulos says is the biggest misconception about the lounge. The warmth exuding from the dark wood floors and the clay brick walls add to the space’s coziness, while black leather couches add a modern touch. Dionisopoulos actually recently renovated the space, raising the roof on the bar, using bricks from Reclaim Detroit in an attempt to match the original walls. The result is quite lovely, if not a touch hipster.
Unique and beautiful, Exodos carries some great local brews along with your standard national brands. (Plus, some cool brands of mastiha, a liqueur native to the island of Chios that you definitely won’t find most other places.) Bartenders are fully equipped to make whatever cocktail is ordered therein. Our gin fizz was made with Hendrick’s Gin (which is a favorite, but probably just ‘cause the bottle is cool), along with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer and muddled lime, among other things.
Hours here are also not concrete. When we called to check, the hostess said “9 or 10, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday” and noted they’re also open during big event days (think Opening Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc.). The space is also available for private events like birthday parties, showers, and weddings.
Oh, and we recommend the gin fizz.