Best of Detroit 2013
Spend the Night - Reader's Choice
Reader's choice for nightlife in Metro Detroit
Published: March 20, 2013
Best Bar for Under 30s
The Loving Touch
22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3644
It has been a huge year for the Loving Touch, that room next to the WAB that used to be a seedy massage place, happy endings guaranteed. The place has grown into one of the most happening rooms on the music scene thanks to some tremendous shows, many of them free, very cool bar staff and an overall unique and friendly vibe. The bands are right there in your face, and that adds to the ambience. When it’s all done, your ending is still happy, just in a different way.
Best Bar to Hook Up With Someone
22901 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Boogie Fever is Ferndale’s Mecca of salacious cougars, meandering sugar daddies and armies of bachelorettes equipped with dildos, inflatable penises and pink tiaras. The neon lit dance floor and the bellowing tunes of yesteryear, help troves of drunken lady trains and crooning men to start snagging the night’s fun. What better mix can you ask for when you’re looking for that hook-up?
Best Dive Bar in Wayne County
3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830
The collage of worn military unit patches behind the bar will be the first thing to catch your eye when you take a seat in Old Miami. The great prices and conversations will catch you next, tickling the right senses and making you feel like the “dive” isn’t preparing you for a crash landing. If you go past the stage, which typically holds Detroit’s up and coming indie artists, and go outside, you’ll see the spacious back yard, stylized for the type of lounging that’s usually saved for summer bon fires and late night rendezvous.
Patrick Tierney at Gusoline Alley
Best Dive Bar in Oakland County
Best Bottled Beer Selection in a Bar
309 S. Center St., Royal Oak
The casual nightwalker, tiptoeing on the edge of Royal Oak’s downtown, might stumble their way into Gusoline Alley and become enthralled by its walls of motor city memorabilia and great music from an unrivaled, legendary jukebox that has everything from cherry jazz hits from Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck to rebel country from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. It’s those things, along with decent drinks that range from local brews to ones of the Bavarian kind, that have brought Gusoline back on this list. Add in the exceptional bathroom graffiti and Bartender Patrick Tierney’s sideburns and you have dive bar that not many in Oakland can compete with.
Best Dive Bar in Macomb County
26061 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-772-6750
You know those places where the bartender is condescending, the music is too loud and you get gouged $5 for a Pabst? That’s totally not Club FT. For affordable drinks and quick service, this place is a friendly little oasis.
Best Dive Bar in Washtenaw County
The 8 Ball Saloon
208 S. First St., Ann Arbor
Pleasantly divey little joint just downstairs from the Blind Pig, sort of resembles a Washtenaw County version of the Painted Lady. Just goes to show you that Washtenaw County ain’t all yuppies.
Best Honky-Tonk Bar
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill
4698 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills
At this high-energy country club, you can find live music, “whiskey girls,” even drink out of a real Mason jar, but the menu is surprisingly long and varied for a honky-tonk.
Best Irish Pub
Dick O Dow’s
160 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham
For the past 17 years, Dick O’Dow’s has been Birmingham’s most popular unpretentious watering hole. Created by the late Dick O’Connor, Peter Dow and Mitch Black in the central shopping district on Maple, the dimly lit pub, graced with simple wooden tables and chairs, faded wall murals from the Book of Kells, agricultural paraphernalia and a wide variety of Irish kitsch, is a surprisingly accurate re-creation of a rural local where you can get a pint of plain.
Best Bar for Karaoke in Wayne County
128 Henry St., Detroit; 313-963-6763
Only in the fevered imagination of the giddiest developer could this stretch of Henry Street be called “Midtown.” Across the street from the “murder mart,” behind a door that sits askew the street, is one of the coolest little dive bars in town, with generous pours of whiskey, and one or two nights a week of “Terry-oke,” usually Fridays and Saturdays, call for details.
Best Bar for Karaoke in Oakland County
THREE WAY TIE
On the Rocks
28167 John R Rd., Madison Heights
The Stop Spot
1309 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-548-7771
2140 Hilton Rd., Ferndale; 248-545-5861
It really doesn’t matter where you are. When the lights are low and the music moves you, as you stare into the teleprompter, you might be miles away, deep in the past or staring right into your beloved’s eye for a serenade. One thing’s for certain: Oakland County loves karaoke.
> Email MT Staff