Pre-Game/Post-Game: Detroit’s Featured Bars for Sporting Events

By: Michael Fossbakk | October 30, 2013

Say what you want about Detroit, but one sure thing is that it is a great sports city. A city full of loyal and passionate fans means there must be plenty of sports bars to keep them occupied before, during and after games. If you’re going to a Lions, Tigers or Red Wings game and plan on having a couple drinks before going into each respective stadium, where should you go? Or perhaps you want to continue the party after the game, again which bar is best? Luckily, Downtown Detroit has several options.

Let’s start with pre-game:

Elwood Bar and Grill, is located at 300 E. Adams St., or directly behind Comerica Park’s scoreboard in left field. It is a mere 56 steps away from Comerica Park (give or take a few steps to Ford Field), making it an awfully convenient place for those of us going to Tigers or Lions games. The Elwood was originally built in 1936 and is “Detroit’s most recognizable Art Deco diner.” I am yet to venture here, but I have heard good things and according to its menu, The Elwood Bar and Grill is rather inexpensive. What’s not to like?

Nemo’s Bar and Grill, located at 1384 Michigan Ave. (right next to old Tiger Stadium), is a great pre-game spot. Nemo’s offers a shuttle to and from Tigers, Lions and Red Wings games for only $3. The shuttle starts running an hour before the event and runs up until 45 minutes after the event has ended. I have been there twice before attending a sporting event, good food and great atmosphere. Since it does offer a shuttle back, it is not too shabby of a post-game hangout either.

Coaches Corner, 1465 Centre St., is just a few blocks away from Ford Field and Comerica Park making it an ideal pre-game location.  This spacious bar offers a dance floor, full-service bar, large dining room, outdoor patio and several high definition televisions. Coaches Corner has food and drink specials Monday through Saturday for excellent prices. For example, on Mondays you can get a burger with a beer or pop for $7.95. Check out the website for more specials. I am a huge fan of the “Triple Play” Nachos and Waffle Fries. You’ve got to check this place out.

For those of you who are still willing (and able) to keep the good times rollin’ after the game is over, here are a few excellent post-game bars:

Cheli’s Chili Bar, located at 47 E. Adams St., and owned by former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, is a fun place to go after the game. It is across the street from Comerica, so expect a crowd, but it is one of my personal favorites in the downtown area. It even has a rooftop party deck, with a great view of Comerica Park and Ford Field. Cheli’s also offers a shuttle service to and from Joe Louis Arena. The food here is excellent and the service has been great in my experiences there.

Hockeytown Café, 2301 Woodward Ave., is another place you have to check out to get the full downtown experience. Again it is a popular one, so be weary of the crowd, but I always have a good time at Hockeytown because it is in my opinion the best bar atmosphere in Downtown Detroit. Over 50 beers are offered on tap, 50! ESPN 2 onced named Hockeytown the number two best sports bar in the entire United States. If that isn’t enough to get you there, I’m not sure what will.

Detroit Beer Co. is located at 1529 Broadway in the historic Hartz Building. Okay, so everyone has heard of Cheli’s or Hockeytown. Not everyone may know about the Detroit Beer Company. The beers are brewed in-house and up to eight house varieties are offered on tap at any time. It is a very short walk from Ford Field or Comerica Park so it is a convenient location for patrons after the game.

The Old Shillelagh, located at 349 Monroe St., is a place I am yet to go to, but honestly can’t wait to try. This Irish pub provides a free shuttle to and from all sporting events…yeah, I said free. The Old Shillelagh has nearly 20 beers on tap, including Michigan made drafts. Event/game day menus are even offered here and the prices for all menus seem to be more than fair. The place has three floors, so there is plenty of room. Did I mention the shuttle is free?

As I mentioned earlier, Detroit is filled with plenty of top-notch bars. No matter where you choose to start and/or end your night, you really can’t go wrong. So, let the beers start pouring and the fun commence! Remember, always drink responsibly .