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Inside Second Best, Brush Park’s New ‘90s-Inspired Hangout

The Up North-influenced bar from the owners of Grey Ghost opens tonight

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

The dream of the ‘90s is returning to Brush Park this weekend with the opening of Second Best. The neighborhood bar from Four Man Ladder Management, the group behind Grey Ghost, is set to open to the public tonight after several days of friends and family previews. The bar which sports a red ribbon-shaped sign is located at 42 Watson St., previously home to the Heidelberg Project and just across from Four Man’s original high-end, small plates restaurant. With Second Best, owners Joe Giacomino, John Vermiglio, Will Lee, and David Vermiglio are shooting for a more casual feel with a ‘90s soundtrack and shots inspired by Jäger Bombs and Kamikazes.

The group brought in Pink + Wooderson — the same team that developed the Eater Award-winning look for Grey Ghost — to design “Up North” look for the pub. The 2,300-square-foot bar interior features exposed brick, wood paneling, and dim lighting from frosted globe lights and tiffany lamp fixtures. The bar seats roughly 60 people at a mixture of vinyl bar chairs, booths, and high top tables. The requisite garage door-style windows at the street-facing side of the bar will give Second Best an airy feel during warm weather. Second Best is also outfitted with bar games including bubble hockey and a Ms. Pac-Man console, among others. Customers can also count on a few flat-screen TVs on the premises.

Will Lee’s bar menu zoomed in on increasingly trendy batch cocktails poured from soda guns, as well as local and national beers. There’s even Smirnoff Ice (Note: The menu suggests customers “ice a friend”). Chefs John Vermiglio and Joe Giacomino developed a lineup of riffs on familiar comfort foods and bar snacks. Customers can expect options such as tomato grilled cheeses, Italian beef sandwiches, ramen noodle salad, fried chicken, and even steak tartare. For dessert, check out the boozy Boston Cooler or banana pudding.

Photographers Michelle and Chris Gerard took a tour of Second Best ahead of the opening. Scope out the space in the gallery below.

Second Best is located at 42 Watson Street; open from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. daily; website.

Correction, 12:43 p.m., August 10: This story has been updated to reflect that Second Best will no longer be offering shuffleboard.

Grey Ghost Team Will Open ‘Second Best’ Bar in Detroit [ED]
All Second Best Coverage [ED]
All Eater Inside Coverage [ED]
All Openings Coverage [ED]
All Booze News Coverage [ED]

Second Best Bar

42 Watson Street, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Grey Ghost

47 E Watson Street, , MI 48201 (313) 262-6534 Visit Website
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