Downtown Detroit's anticipated cocktail lounge The Whisky Parlor opened quietly over the weekend in the vacant space above Grand Trunk Pub. The bar features a deep whiskey list with over 80 (soon to be 100) bottles, as well as a short list of whiskey-based cocktails, whiskey flights, and wine flights. Drinks pair nicely with the Parlor's brief menu of small plates with names inspired by the building's former occupants. For instance, former 1898 restaurant owner Ida Sixbey gives her name to the truffled caprese salad with cream-filled Burrata and the bourbon cherry cheesecake is dubbed Boosey & Schneider after a circa 1918 men's furnishings shop.
Live musicians play a steady soundtrack near the windows. Lighting is dim at the bar. Candles flicker at each table, while above a the cut out ceiling casts a purple light. The room is filled with what manager Steven Reaume refers to as "found objects" — items he and owner Timothy Tharp have collected over the years and during the renovation. A one-of-a-kind lamp built by Reaume hangs above the corner bar. The design features mechanisms from a cheese-making device and a prototype from a Memphis Milano lamp. Photographers Michelle and Chris Gerard checked out the bar on its first night.
The Whisky Parlor is open seven days a week from 5 p.m. until midnight. Beginning August 1, the bar will begin expanding hours and showcasing live jazz and DJ events.