The most populated city in the American state of Michigan, as well as the fourth-most populous city in the Midwest region of the United States, Detroit is a working-class city with a no-nonsense reputation and a great nightlife scene. Home to Motown records, Detroit’s nightlife is hosted by the thousands of great bars and nightclubs that call this city home, each with their own type of vibe, atmosphere and crowd.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxed neighborhood bar, brewery, upscale cocktail lounge or something in between, the city of Detroit definitely has you covered. To illustrate this, below we have profiled several of the best and most popular pubs, taverns and lounges in the Motor City, and provided a brief description of each of these locales.
Town Pump Tavern
Located in Detroit’s bustling downtown region, the Town Pump Tavern is one of the most popular and well-established bars on our list, hosting one of the best Happy Hours in the region. With a fully-stocked bar and over 100 varieties of domestic and imported brews, the Town Pump Tavern is sure to have just the libation you’re looking for, and its bartenders are always happy to make suggestions.
Situated on West Montcalm Street, the Town Pump Tavern is especially known for its wide-ranging menu of pub grub, which includes burgers, patty melts, spaghetti, pizza and more, as well as traditional appetizers like onion rings and mozzarella sticks. The bar itself is oval shaped, and the furnishings include tables, chairs and a few comfy sofas and ottoman’s dispersed throughout the space, enabling its guests to completely relax and unwind after a long day’s work.
As with most popular nightspots, the Town Pump Tavern hosts primarily a younger crowd from 10:00 PM until closing at 2:00 AM. On most of these nights the music is provided by the club’s jukebox, but on weekends that music is replaced with DJ-spun tunes and the occasional live show or open mic jam session.
Situated at 100 Townsend Street in Detroit’s Central City sector, the Corner is a rather upscale hotel bar located inside the trendy Townsend Hotel. The bar boasts an impressive selection of beer, wine and booze, including over 100 martini choices, both vodka and gin martinis, which come in a variety of flavors and sizes. If you really want to impress your date, try ordering the Billionaire Margarita, a $16 dollar drink made from Patron Silver Tequila and 100-year old Grand Marnier.
The Corner has a very retro vibe—think 1970s—highlighted by a mahogany bar, a spacious L-shaped lounge and furnishings covered in deep blue suede. This color is brought out by the giant blue neon lights overhead, as well as the French-beveled mirrors and Bay Windows that give the bar a romantic and private ambience.
To go along with its fantastic drink menu, the Corner offers a full menu of food and snacks, including a wonderful appetizer of jumbo-sized prawns, and a similarly-sized portion of calamari.
Jacoby’s German Biergarten
As its name clearly suggests, Jacoby’s German Biergarten is a German-themed bar that specializes (mostly) in tap beer, offering over 30 varieties of delicious draught that is rotated on a regular schedule. Patrons can also choose from the inn’s impressive selection of foreign and domestic beer (over 80 varieties), which includes over a dozen craft microbrews, most from the Detroit area.
Jacoby’s German Biergarten is a laidback drinking hall, with a brick-walled and wood-paneled interior that is simple and basic. The historic structure, built in 1904, is considered a great place to hang out with friends on the weekend, and their awesome snack menu, which includes cheese curds and crab cakes, will keep you coming back to this Detroit hotspot again and again.
Located at 2233 Park Avenue in Detroit, the Centaur Bar is a true one-of-a-kind, boasting a stylish feel and a very distinctive layout and decor. The bar currently occupies the first two floors of what was formerly a Detroit toothpaste manufacturer, with bars on each of the two floors and an art deco design throughout the space that seems a bit out of place in Detroit’s downtown region. The focal point of the room is a massive white-frosted chandelier that hangs high over the two bars, and its spit-shined tables, leather couches and mahogany bars complete the overall ambience.
The Centaur Bar, which caters mostly to upscale clients, serves a variety of bottled beer and wine, but it is first and foremost a cocktail lounge—a lounge that relies on the finest in Top Shelf spirits and fresh ingredients. All your regular classics are on offer here, as is a diverse medley of signature cocktails, including its very popular Espresso drink, a refreshing and satisfying mix of Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka and cool cream.
Bo’s Brewery and Bistro
Bo’s Brewery and Bistro is a family-owned tavern that specializes primarily in craft microbrews, offering approximately 50 of these diverse brews both on tap and in bottles. The popular bar also doubles as a casual eatery, offering dishes such as fish and chips, broiled chicken sandwiches, fajitas and chicken-fried steaks.
The interior décor at Bo’s Brewery and Bistro is as simple and basic as its food and drink offerings, and its hardwood floors, stainless steel railings, exposed brick walls and tidy mezzanine area make it a relaxed and comfortable space for all who visit here.
Atwater Block Brewery
Located in Detroit’s Warehouse District, the Atwater Block and Brewery is housed in a colossal 18,000 square foot space that was once one of the city’s now-shuttered factories. In keeping with the traditions of the Detroit brewers of old, the owners of the Atwater Block and Brewery have created lagers that are 100 percent German—not only is the brewing equipment they utilize German-made, but all the hops and barley have also been imported from Germany. In addition to their German lagers, the brewery also makes and serves a number of specialty ales from American Hops, including their very popular Vanilla Java Porter, made with coffee beans, vanilla extract and chocolate malt; and the Dirty Blond, a mixture of un-malted wheat, orange peel and coriander.
With a restaurant and eatery located at the front of this large brewing operation, the Atwater Block Brewery has become one of the favorite hangouts in the city for lovers of fine beer and ale, with a selection that simply cannot be matched elsewhere in the Midwestern United States.
Detroit skyline by geniuserp/Pixabay CC0 license