Special Issues » The Drink Issue

Some of the better bars for a loaded night

Badass Bar Crawl



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Honest John's Bar & Grill | 488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-5646: Spend the night drinking elsewhere, but around 1 a.m., you should mozy on over to Honest John's for a late-night 40 oz. of Old Milwaukee and a basket of fries unrivaled around the Cass Corridor. The kitchen here keeps things rolling until 2 a.m.

Jumbo's Bar | 3736 Third St., Detroit; 313-831-8949: Off the beaten path of revitalized Midtown lies this gem, a hole in the wall dive that carries booze you'd expect to find at a dive bar. Enjoy the company, the patio, the jukebox, and just drink.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. | 5919 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-979-8361; kbrewery.com: This is a serious microbrewery, the kind of place where the malty smell hits you smack in the face as you walk in. There's no food (with the exception of a popcorn machine), but that's just fine when people line up for it's special six-pack releases or to belly up to the bar for such unusual concoctions as DRIPA, Simcoe Silly, and Blueberry Tart. Our favorite on our last visit was Summer Wonder Peach Lager, 13 percent ABV, with an unmistakable trace of bubble gum to it.

The Last Word | 301 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-585-5691: The home of the craft cocktail in Ann Arbor, it's like other similar and wildly popular places where you're transported back to a time when bartenders wore snazzy attire, all cocktails were given a wild ride in a shaker, and the flat-screen hadn't been invented. The only thing not of that age are the prices, but they're worth it.

Loving Touch | 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale: With a name taken from the building's former incarnation as a massage parlor, a fake forest, plenty of pool tables, and a knack for booking some excellent national acts, the Loving Touch has great atmosphere. Oh, and there's beer, too — on tap are selections from next-door's Woodward Avenue Brewers.

Motor City Brewing Works | 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-832-2700: This Midtown establishment not only brews their own beer on premises, they also have delectable pizzas and artisan cheeses to enjoy with a cold pint. Motor City is also a must if you're into the local art scene. The bar hosts "This Week in Art," every Wednesday.

New Way Bar | 23130 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-541-9870: New Way Bar has come a long way in the short time it has been under new management. There is still that old school, dive bar vibe to it, but you don't feel like a staph infection is inevitable. New Way is also a great venue for live, local music and stand-up comedy.

Northern Lights Lounge | 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739: This stylish bar and performance venue sprawls throughout a large building that can seat more than 100 guests, from booths to tables to a long and commodious bar. What's more, they now have an excellent weekend brunch and, in good weather, an outdoor patio.

Old Miami | 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit: 313-831-3830: It wouldn't be out of place to find millennial punks mingling with Vietnam War vets while listening to '90s R&B at this shot-and-a-beer bar. A "Rodriguez for Mayor" painting and couches reminiscent of your grandparents' basement further round out this bar's vibe. It also has one of the most incredibly surprising back yards, with trees, greenery, grass, and fire pits.

Pat O'Brien's | 22385 E. 10 Mile Rd., St. Clair Shores; 586-771-5715; pobtavern.com: Pat O'Brien's offers more than just a place to watch a game and have a beer. They have a great selection of beers on tap and the best bar food on the Nautical Mile. While the weather allows, the outdoor patio is comfortable place to sit with friends and catch a breeze coming off the lake.

PJ's Lager House | 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; pjslagerhouse.com: Pj's carries a menu full of options for carnivores and vegetarians. The bar's Sunday brunch provides affordable fare, with cheap mimosas and Bloody Mary's to boot. Chances are if you're seeing a show here, you likely want to drink something. It's likely PJ's will have something to drink.

Renshaw Lounge | 210 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-616-3016; renshawlounge.com: Yeah, the Renshaw used to be a dive, but even though it's expanded and much grander, it still has some of the best drink prices in metro Detroit. Owner Mike Lang insists that you can still get drunk at the Renshaw for $10. You'll just have to do it in a nicer place. Deal?

The Rockery | 1175 Eureka Rd., Wyandotte; 734-281-4629: This place doesn't look like much, but it has so much to give. The Wyandotte dive has a great selection of Michigan craft beers and locally-made liquors and the staff know how to whip up something stiff and delicious. Pop in on the weekends for live music and don't forget about Soul Deep!

St. Cece's Pub | 1426 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2121; stceces.com: If you've always fantasized about drinking in church, St. Cece's is the place for you. The decor is replete with stained glass, pew-style, seating, and ornate light fixtures and the food menu is made up of belly-filling, wholesome meals. If you're in the mood for a cocktail we suggest the Hunter S. Thompson, but they also make a great gin and tonic.

The Sugar House | 2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-0123; sugarhousedetroit.com: Chances are you've heard of this place. Hardly anyone can talk about craft cocktails in Detroit without Sugar House getting mentioned. Sure the drinks are great (we're partial to the Suffering Bastard), but the service is also impeccable and the environs won't leave you wanting for more.

Third Street Saloon | 701 W. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3434: Long wooden tables and a fireplace give Third Street a dive bar meets a cabin vibe. Soak up their excellent beer selection with Dangerously Delicious Pies. Also, this bar's got plenty of games, from darts, shuffleboard, ski-ball, and ring toss.

Three Blind Mice Irish Pub | 101 N. Main St., Mount Clemens; 586-961-6371; threeblindmiceirishpub.com: Right on Main Street in downtown Mount Clemens, this relatively new entry has a drinks menu that runs several pages, and the waitresses are often clad in kilts.

Tony V's | 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-833-5595: Formerly Alvin's, John Lulgjuraj reopened the space this summer with more modest goals: to build a fun space for students and neighbors, with karaoke, trivia, "college night," DJs, and live music. A menu of a dozen pizzas don't hurt either.

Town Pump Tavern | 100 W. Montcalm St., Detroit; 313-961-1929; thetownpumptavern.com: If you're hitting a concert, Tigers game, or just bar-hopping downtown, this old-timey-style tavern is a requisite stop thanks to its traditional menu and full bar. You won't get smarmy craft cocktails or any flair bartending, but the service is quality and the drinks are stiff.

TV Lounge | 2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-965-4789: If you're into Detroit's DJ scene, TV Lounge is the place to be. Partitions help divide the action, from the red room where the dancing's at, to the more relaxed blue room, to a recently renovated outdoor patio. Drinks are a little more expensive, but this place makes up for it in swanky atmosphere.

Vicente's | 1250 Library St., Detroit; 313-962-8800; www.vicente.us: Vicente's boasts a diverse drink selection, including mojitos and sangria (you can even buy sangria by the growler, to go). Those drinks could come in handy giving you the courage to try the salsa dancing lessons here.

Whiskey Disco | 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7200: The downtown space that formerly housed Oslo is open again, this time as Whiskey Disco, a bar with a gritty Detroit dance vibe that's rounded out with sets from DJs. — mt

This list is nowhere near definitive, and we're certain to have missed several of your favorite bars. Which would you add? Comment or email eat@metrotimes.com.

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