A Different Kind of Bar Night

By: Melanie Grinnell | September 6, 2022

You know the scenario. Maybe you’ve got a blind date or some forced “fun” with co-workers or a thing with that side of the family where every discussion turns into a big blow-up.  Or maybe you’re just going out with people you see all the time and you’re all worn out from a long week. 

You’re meeting up in the ‘burbs and you really just don’t want to think too much about saying words. So, you need a strategic plan. You need to go to a bar with activities and set the evening up for success…

Small talk can sometimes feel like a slow, painful death. But smack talk… that can be a reinvigorating charge of electricity that can jolt a night back to life. Throw in a cocktail or two you’ve got an outing destined for the memory books (or Instagram, anyway). To help you in your efforts not to have an exhausting evening thinking of witty banter, here are 5 places in Metro Detroit where you can have drinks and do something besides talk:

The Corner:

Explore Metro Detroit in a vehicle built for discovery. Chevy Equinox combines sleek looks, maximum comfort and cutting edge entertainment to navigate your city in style.

The Corner in Ferndale is like that closet at your childhood friend’s house where they opened the door and your kid eyes would bug out at the wall-to-wall board games—but 100x. 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. 

Detroit Axe:

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 Twp. 

Palazzo di Bocce:

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 large group. If you want to take your good times to the next level, definitely bust out your best (worst) House of Gucci Italian accents while you play. Notte perfetta!


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 a time of feathered hair and Jordache jeans. While you can get a beer, this is a better place for sipping fabulous cocktails. Then do a sexy glide up to the line like you are John Travolta or Brook Shields and roll your strike, foxy!

Free Play Pinball Arcade:

If you’re used to playing current video games, pinball might seem ridiculously old-fashioned, but if you’ve never had the pleasure of pulling back the plunger and sending the little silver ball rocketing through a tiny roller coaster of bells and lights, you don’t know what you’re missing. And the thrill of multi-ball? Just try it and see if you don’t become totally addicted. Free Play Pinball Arcade isn’t just for pinball. They have old-school arcade games, skeeball, foosball and more. 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. Even if you don’t care about games at all, you really need to go there to play that behemoth and take a pic where you look like a pip-squeak.

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. 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.