Best of Detroit 2012
Spend the Night - Reader's Choice
Reader's choice for nightlife in Metro Detroit
Published: April 25, 2012
Best Bar for Under 30
The Wurst Bar
705 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 743-485-6720; wurstbarypsi.com.
When someone says that a bar's a "total sausage-fest" the allusion is to an establishment where horned-up young dudes go to unfurl sexual exploits over beers the size of their biceps (or so they'd like to think) and take turns hitting on the handful of women who either work there or mistakenly stumbled inside. The Wurst Bar, albeit a total sausage fest, is not this kind of bar. Nay, this is where thirsty, hungry twentysomethings go to drink cheap beer and indulge in gourmet burgers and sausages, such as the rabbit-chicken-and-fig sausage, the rattlesnake-and-chorizo sausage and the uncased alligator-and-crawfish sausage. If you like meat, not meatheads, this is your bar.
Best Bar to Meet Someone
The Sugar House
2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-0123; sugarhousedetroit.com
On a recent night out at the Sugar House — a Prohibition-style "speakeasy" tucked somewhat inconspicuously next to that one barbecue joint in Corktown — a millionaire housewife and a punk rock drummer met at the bar. A New Orleans jazz duo helped set the scene and, after a couple well-crafted sazeracs and something else that was lit on fire before being poured, they pulled their chairs close and kindled a connection that could be described as intoxicating. If potential lovers pay as much attention to each other as these bartenders do the drinks, then life at this house shall forever be sweet.
Best Club for the
Libidinal (Horny) Crowd
Best Dance Club
Leland City Club
400 Bagley St., Detroit; 313-962-2300; lelandcityclub.net
City Club is only open on Friday and Saturday nights (from 10 till 4:30 in the morning!) because if it were open any more nights we'd see an immediate depletion in the productivity of the regional workforce. That is to say, a night at City Club gives you the opportunity to get out what you put in. And people put in. Evidently, they also put out. Getting confused? That's the point, kinkster. DJ Pleasure Kitten and her cohorts rock the decks in platform boots, latex and leather to hordes of whorish revelers. If you like to moan and move to Depeche Mode, find a mate at City Club. Also, you can dance.
Jay Brown at Delux
350 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-962-4200; deluxlounge.com
When we called over to Delux to find out why it is frequent visitors to this downtown lounge like the way Jay Brown gets down, we spoke to a co-worker who at first said it might be too hard to give us the gist because he thinks of the guy (with whom he competes for tips) as a brother. "Best person I've ever worked with" was the direct quote. Asked why drinkers like to indulge in Brown's services, we learned that the man at hand maintains the essential tools it takes to tend bar the right way: "He's funny, energetic and quick. He has a certain charm."
Best Dive Bar,
3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830
With a garden out back that provides the perfect place for Movement Festival day parties and nighttime bonfires, this Vietnam Vet bar indoctrinates you in Cass Corridor culture. The drinks are stiff, the service comes more with a smirk than a smile, and you never know what sort of eccentric is sitting next to you. It's one of the best places in the region to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Yes, strangers. Your parents were wrong about a lot of things. Like when they told you life gets better. Sorry. It doesn't. Now belly up to the bar and start living life by the drop.
Best Dive Bar,
309 S. Center St., Royal Oak; 248-545-2235
But where's their website, Metro Times? Oh, perhaps you don't fully comprehend what a dive bar is. But here's a perfect learning opportunity, which is also a good enough excuse for a shot of whiskey! See, dear reader, a real dive bar doesn't care about a freakin' website. They don't need social media friends. Thank god. You're lucky they even have a phone number. What do they have, you ask? A decent selection of brew, a jukebox that'll blow your mind, a staff that gives it to you straight, and a gang of genuine regulars. If that one guy with the missing teeth looks at you like your eyes are vomiting and your shoes stick to the bathroom floor, you know you're in the right place.
Best Dive Bar,
> Email MT Staff