The long-shuttered Willis Show Bar is making a comeback this week in Cass Corridor with classic cocktails, live music, and burlesque. The restored bar is opening on Friday, April 27, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The jazz club located at the corner of Willis St. and Third Avenue originally opened in 1949 but slowly fell into decline with the rest of the neighborhood. It was eventually shut down by the city in 1978. The space was poised for a comeback as Shag Bar in 2016 but the deal with an out of town investor fell through, giving Los Angeles-based bar and restaurant investors Steve Livigni, Sean Patrick, and Brandon Smith the chance to step in. They eventually enlisted the help of local bar industry empire builders Detroit Optimist Society.
Dave Kwiatkowski of the Detroit Optimist Society assisted in the restoration of the bar’s Art Moderne interior. The 3,000-square-foot space seats roughly 85 patrons at bar stools, banquettes, and booths that face the stage. The venue will feature live music as well as regular burlesque performances.
The bar’s team recruited David Martinez (formerly the Last Word in Ann Arbor) to help develop the drink menu, which will showcase everything from martinis, to champagne, and punch.
Willis Show Bar is located at 4156 Third Ave. in Detroit; the venue will open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
• Shuttered for 40 Years, Willis Show Bar Will Reopen Friday in Cass Corridor [Freep]
• Willis Show Bar Brings Classic Cocktails to Cass Corridor in January [ED]
• New Bar Claims Formerly Seedy Willis Showplace Space in Cass Corridor [ED]
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