Get Acquainted with Detroit on a D:hive Bar Tour

By: Toni Cunningham | April 17, 2013

When it comes to (most) bar crawls, by the end of the night, you’re doing just that: crawling home. What if I told you there was a more sophisticated way to take part in the bar hopping ritual? Thanks to D:hive, a local non-profit specializing in all things Detroit, you can do just that.

D:hive’s “Practically Free Bar Tours” are a great way to get to know the city, make connections, and enjoy a cocktail or two along the way. For only $5, you get a bevy of information and a free drink, which sounds like a pretty reasonable deal to me.

Tours occur frequently, and there’s a different theme for each. You’ll never be taking the same route or visiting the same bar, thanks to 250 plus bars and restaurants located in greater downtown Detroit.

“Many people are surprised by that and wonder about the places they haven’t been… We introduce people to the owners and staff at the bar, give them information about other things going on in the city and connect them to all the insider information that makes Detroit stand out,” Jeanette Pierce, Director of Community Relations and D:hive Bar Tour guide, said.

These bar tours are a great way to meet new people and learn about the neighborhood, according to Pierce. They also provide a great opportunity for local entrepreneurs to form connections in the community.

“The people that come on the bar tours are fun and interesting and interested in Detroit,” Pierce said.

As a tour guide, Pierce feels her job also entails being a hostess. She shares all sorts of fun facts and statistics about the city, but also ensures that each and every participant has a good time and learns about Detroit.

“We share tons of information with folks, but most people really like hearing about what it’s like to live, work and play in the city, which all of our tour guides do,” Pierce said. “We can tell you where we grocery shop, that we feel safe walking around our neighborhoods, how one bar owner brought the Stanley Cup into his bar for my birthday or how Ryan Gosling was hanging out at this other bar just last week.”

It’s the insider information that can’t be found in a book or on a website that attracts people the most, said Pierce. The variation of tours helps, too. Not surprisingly, D:hive’s Patio Bar Tours are the most popular.

If you’re looking for a bar crawl in which you can partake and black out, this probably isn’t the one for you. However, if your thirst for knowledge outweighs your thirst for Jack, consider signing up for an upcoming D:hive bar tour. As Pierce notes, they call them bar tours instead of pub crawls for a reason.

“It’s not solely about the drinking, in fact, it’s not even mostly about the drinking, it’s about the people, stories and experiences,” she said. “It’s about finding a new favorite spot, making new friends and discovering a Detroit you never knew existed.”

In addition to scheduled bar tours, D:hive hosts private bar tours for special events like birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, you name it. For more information, visit http://dhivedetroit.org/.