As most music fans know, the best way to seek out local hidden talent and up-and-coming bands is by heading to one of Metro Detroit’s small venues. In this case, literally Small’s Bar.
Small’s, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck, was voted “best sound and lights” by the Metro Times and “best small venue to see a big band” in 2009, as well as “best live music bar” by Metromix Detroit in 2012. With glowing reviews like that, do you need to be convinced further?
Just in case you’re not on board yet, Small’s serves over 50 varieties of beer in addition to top-shelf liquors, meaning you’ll never go thirsty. Of those, several are Michigan-made, including Hard Luck Candy vodka, Valentine Vodka and beer from Bell’s Brewery. Local music and local booze, what more do you need? Space to dance, obviously.
The building is divided into two sections. The front room, which is where you’ll find the bar, houses a jukebox, allowing you to get your groove on while you kick back with friends. As for the back room, that’s where all the live band action takes place, and there’s plenty of room to thrash around.
“We’ve done some remodeling, so you (can) see the stage from anywhere in the middle room and live room. There’s nothing like seeing your favorite band in an intimate setting,” said Mike Mouyianis, General Manager of Small’s.
Every night, the doors at Small’s open at 8 p.m., and on nights when there’s not a live show, drinks are even more reasonably priced than usual (i.e. 24 oz. tall boy cans for $3).
As for the live shows themselves, Small’s has strong ties with booking agents near and far, so the bar hosts some great local and national bands. Metro Detroit’s own, The HandGrenades, are set to perform on Saturday, February 23 with 500 Club, The Sundresses and the Ill Itches. Additional upcoming shows include The Tossers, Pietasters and Continental on Friday, March 15, as well as Jeff the Brotherhood on Saturday, March 30.
“This year the building turns 90 years old,” Mouyianis said, noting that before it became Small’s over 13 years ago, it housed a few different bars. “Originally it was a bank, so there’s some pretty cool architecture.”