Not Your Average Night Out: Detroit’s Unique Bar Experience

September 15, 2023
Cocktail drinks with ice in club lights for bar night

Looking for an unforgettable night out in Metro Detroit? This city has you covered with an array of unique experiences that defy the conventional dinner-and-a-movie mold. From intimate, unusual locales to vibrant, bustling spots, the options are both diverse and captivating. Cheers to a night you won’t easily forget!


344 West 9 Mile Road, Ferndale

The Corner in Ferndale is like that closet at your childhood friend’s house where they opened the door and your eyes would bug out at the wall-to-wall board games—but times 100. If you’re looking for an experience that brings a group together, this is a good one. They have tons of games to choose from, classic to new, so whether you’re in the mood for a raw and revealing game where you all bare your souls or just a good old-fashioned attempt at removing the funny bone in a round of Operation, you’ll definitely be able to find something to get everyone involved and keep it interesting. If the giant wall of games overwhelms you, their game sommelier can assist you in finding the perfect one for your group. With options to reserve a table in the game room, your group can enjoy a couple of hours of play without worrying about whether you’ll catch a table or not. 

trailblazer field

From soccer practice to grocery runs, the Chevy Trailblazer is designed to make your everyday outings a breeze.


344 West 9 Mile Road, Ferndale

17420 Hall Road, Clinton Township

1375 Michigan Ave, Detroit

In the same location as The Corner Bar, you will find Detroit Axe where you and your group can take turns throwing axes at a target. If chucking a hatchet at a bullseye doesn’t get your group a little rowdy, nothing will. Detroit Axe also has locations in Corktown and at Partridge Creek Mall in Clinton Township. Last minute plans to go? Walk-ins are available. If you’re more of a planner, reservations can be made in advance as well. 


4291 Lapeer Road, Lake Orion

Palazzo di Bocce in Lake Orion is like a sprawling Tuscan villa devoted to the Italian lawn game of bocce ball. Elegant arched windows, marble columns, and imported tile lend an upscale European ambiance to its 32,000 square feet of space. Anyone can play bocce no matter their age or experience, so it’s a great activity for a larger group. Notte perfetta!


4209 Coolidge Highway, Royal Oak

Beer and bowling are nothing new. If the age of bowling shoes at most alleys is any indication, your great-great-grandparents were probably taking the horse and buggy to the bowling alley for a game and a pint and lacing up those same shoes. Bowlero is unique in that it offers up the fun of bowling in a stylish setting that’s modern but throws you right back into time. This restored, retro-styled bowling alley hosts live bands, has a cocktail lounge, and will offer plenty of entertainment for your night out.


34830 Utica Road, Fraser

Free Play Pinball Arcade isn’t just for pinball. They have old-school arcade games, skeeball, foosball, and more. There are more than 70 pinball and arcade machines in the 5,000 square foot space, with games for many interests. Plus, they have Hercules. At 3 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 7 feet tall, it’s the largest pinball game ever made and one of only 20 in the world where it can be played by the public. Enjoy a drink at the Jukebox Bar and play a few games with some friendly competition. With no coins required and unlimited play wristbands, you’ll be entertained all evening long. 

No need to sit at the bar and try to shout-talk at your friends over the loud music. Instead, throw a ball, roll some dice, or hit a target with these night-out options. Be the champ and spend the rest of the evening gloating about it, as is your right. When you are able to dominate one and all in games of skill and chance, you earn the right to lord it over your friends. It’s in the rule book.

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was authored by Melanie Grinnell.