In a city teeming with new, exciting speakeasies and cocktail lounges, July 7 – National Dive Bar Day – reminds us that it’s the well-loved, often overlooked establishments that define a neighborhood’s true character. Dim lights, beer-soaked countertops, sticky floors. That’s where it all happens. Here are a few of our favorite local dives to check out next time you’re looking to grab a drink.
Pool tables? Check. Jukebox? Check. Burgers and fries? Check. Bronx Bar is a favorite among Cass Corridor residents, college students and pretty much everyone else who’s ever been inside. The no-frills, 2nd Ave joint needs nothing beyond ice-cold beer and cheap whiskey to maintain its loyal customer base. It is known to have been one of Jack White’s go-to spots during his younger years in Detroit and continues to emanate the city’s spirit of rock n roll to this day.
Among a handful of watering holes along Ferndale’s Woodward stretch, Sneakers satisfies the needs of the diverse community it serves. Lively karaoke nights, Detroit sports and hot pierogis certainly account for some of the appeal. But for locals — especially those who work service industry jobs in downtown Ferndale – it’s all about the people. Next time you find yourself out to dinner along 9 Mile, stick around and check out what you’ve been missing.
If you love live, local music, chances are you’ve already heard of The Old Miami. Innumerable bands have gotten their start at this legendary dive. It’s the perfect place to pair a cold drink with the overdriven guitars and booming drums you’ve been missing all quarantine long. While you’re there, be sure to check out their back patio – the largest in Detroit.
As downtown Royal Oak continues to develop, Ye Olde Saloon hangs tight to old(e) tradition, cheap drinks and a friendly, hometown atmosphere. Nothing fancy here. Just beer, booze, burgers and a stool with your name on it.
We can’t get enough of Nemo’s. And with good reason. This iconic Corktown bar and grill lives at the epicenter of Detroit sports lore. Less than a block from the old Tiger Stadium, Nemo’s spent years as the unofficial hub of Detroit Baseball. Despite the team moving downtown and Corktown’s recent makeover, the bar remains deeply attached to the city’s athletic roots. Grab a drink before the game and then take the free shuttle to and from the ballpark. If you can’t find tickets, don’t worry. There’s nowhere better to watch your favorite team than behind this legendary countertop.
Remember to drink responsibly and plan ahead with a designated driver or take advantage of one of these local designated driving services.