Throughout Metro Detroit, Thanksgiving Eve is synonymous with hitting local bars and reconnecting with old friends. It’s the kind of night where you expect to encounter faces you haven’t seen in years or relish the opportunity to show out-of-town guests your original stomping grounds. The question is never “Are we going out?” but rather, “Where are we going?” You have enough decisions to make around the holidays, so we’re breaking down the best spots to usher in the holiday season.
TWO JAMES SPIRITS
2445 Michigan Avenue, Detroit
If you’re looking for a Corktown option, visit one with some history on this big night. “Two James Spirits, the first licensed distillery in Detroit since prohibition, believes that only great spirits should be served in great cocktails. Come be a part of our community and celebrate with The Spirit of Detroit,” says Ben Senseney, Brand Operations Officer. Feel free to grab a fall cocktail, meet up with friends, and celebrate Thanksgiving Eve before stressing about the big feast!
2130 Michigan Avenue, Detroit
Sugar House is Detroit’s Original Craft Cocktail Bar and a Corktown favorite. You can find a rotating seasonal menu and all of the classics. When Sugar House claims that they have the classics covered, they aren’t kidding. The classics menu has 101 options to choose from. If you’d rather grab a cocktail and head out to other plans, there are at least a dozen ready-to-drink cocktails available to go.
449 East Milwaukee Avenue, Detroit
Set in a building from the 1890s, you’ll find Kiesling in the Milwaukee Junction downtown. Recently celebrating 5 years of service, Kiesling was nominated as one of the Top 30 Cocktail Bars in the U.S. from Tales of the Cocktail. With the historic building come generations of stories of it evolving from a saloon into the cozy bar it is today. While grabbing a drink, check out the Grilled Cheese Program with sweet and savory sandwich options.
222 Sherman Drive, Royal Oak
The Goodnite Gracie Jazz & Martini Bar is located adjoining the main dining room of D’Amato’s, a Royal Oak favorite for over 25 years. Open Wednesdays through Saturdays, Goodnite Gracie offers a Happy Hour menu from 4 to 6 p.m. with savings on select martinis, mules, wines, draft beers, and appetizers. Enjoy some jazz, grab a cocktail or two, and take in the fun, retro-inspired atmosphere.
THE OLD SHILLELAGH
349 Monroe Street, Detroit
One place that will be popular for the Downtown crowd is The Old Shillelagh. “We love the biggest bar night of the year because we see so many large parties of lifelong friends meeting up to reconnect & have a great time! We have 3 floors open which provides 3 different atmospheres for our guests to experience. We do take reservations for large parties,” shares Shellie Lewis, owner & general manager. “At The Old Shillelagh, we pride ourselves on our locally sourced menu. We offer meats sourced from small local farms that practice humane farming & often pasture-raise their meats. We offer a full plant-based menu that mirrors our most popular menu items. We offer a complimentary shuttle to most major Downtown events. We’re your go-to for pre & post-events as we offer quick service dining & the transform for the post-event party offering live music & DJs.”
22901 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale
Boogie Fever is hosting its annual Friendsgiving Eve Party on November 22, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door to get into this dance club, and the venue is 21+. If you’ve got a larger group, you can buy a booth in advance for $250-300, which includes a booth and admission for 10 people. If you’re looking for a fun night out, Boogie Fever can deliver! Make sure to check out the dress code before you head out, as sweats, hoodies, and more casual wear are not allowed.
22629 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale
If you’re looking for a more laid-back environment, Sneakers Pub is a great option for this big bar night out. This full bar has over 50 beers with rotating drafts, jello shots, moonshine, and more. Catch up with some old friends, order a burger and beer, and enjoy the evening before the potentially chaotic Thanksgiving festivities. With so many options around Ferndale, Sneakers Pub can be an excellent bar crawl stop, too for your Thanksgiving Eve plans.
This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on November 22, 2021, and was authored by Aaron Segel.