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Purple Gang Patrol; An Arts, Beats & Eats Rundown

Detroit15

DOWNTOWN — Proving that he's perhaps better at writing about old bars than new ones — "He rode up on a bicycle, which was hipster-like" — the News' Neal Rubin offered a playful exploration of downtown's Tommy's Bar and Grill, an alleged former hangout for the legendary Purple Gang of Prohibition-Era Detroit. There's no strict physical proof that the booze runners of old once operated out of the Third Street lounge, but there's plenty to suggest that a secret underground speakeasy made its home in the bar's basement. [DetNews]

DOWNTOWN — As one of many cities participating in a national fast-food worker strike today, Detroit attracted a great deal of national political attention as dozens of local workers marched in solidarity for a $15-an-hour wage for their work. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota showed up at the Midtown Detroit Church's Chicken to meet with workers, and a young but active Twitter account for the local effort, Detroit_15, sent out live-coverage of the afternoon's march, including the appearance of Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry in a downtown gathering. There's no word on whether or not the march will spur federal or state legislative action to raise minimum wages, but the effort certainly got a lot of press this afternoon. [Politico / Twitter]

ROYAL OAK — Tomorrow is the first day of Labor Day Weekend, which means it is also the first day of the 2013 Arts, Beats & Eats Festival in downtown Royal Oak. The News' Melody Baetens gives her take on what elements of the gigantic festival are worth your time, including the suggestion that Southfield's Eskimo Jacks sweet shop is a food provider not to miss. There are more than 50 restaurants popping up during the three day festival, making it a great opportunity to sample the best that the metro Detroit region has to offer in one place. Rain and blazing heat aside, the event should be a great kicker to the summer before Labor Day and all the work and school that follows. [DetNews]

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