Raise the bar
A shortlist of better bars, for drinking, music and more
Published: October 20, 2010
The Tap Room 201 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-482-5320: We know the cliché, but many regulars here say this bar really is like downtown Ypsi's own version of Cheers. Maybe it's because co-owners Lisa and Brian Brickley and their staff are down-to-earth folks who'll chat with you even after you've tossed down your seventh shot of Jack. Or maybe it's because most of the staff were regulars before they started getting paid to serve. (Hiring from within! Cool.) Either way, it makes for one drunk, happy family down in old Ypsi-town.
Traffic Jam & Snug 511 W. Canfield St.; 313-831-9470: Get a twofer of English-style ales by visiting the little Snug bar, with its backlit nature scenes and dormant fireplace. Or enjoy them with a meal in the restaurant: Traffic Jam makes almost everything in-house, including beer, bread and ice cream.
Ye Olde Tap Room 14915 Charlevoix, Detroit; 313-824-1030: Hands down, this is one of the best beer bars in metro Detroit. More than 280 fine lagers from the world over, a stellar selection of fine Scotch — single-grain, single-malt, vatted (pure) malt or blended, well-aged at 10, 12, 16 or 18 years, on the rocks or straight up — all get served minus the pretension. Adding to the ambience is the bar's notorious history of serving booze before, during and after Prohibition; its surreptitious speakeasy roots suggest the naughty and clandestine revelry of the jazz-baby '20s, a decade for which we were, unfortunately, born too late. There's something sexy — and a bit dirty — about Ye Olde: The aged bar, sleek from years of use, the red brothel lights that glow softly, the midnight-dark corners that summon unclean thoughts make us want to slap on some red lipstick and get downright saucy.
Special thanks to editorial intern Michelle Styczynski for her assistance compiling these listings.
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