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Streams of confiscated liquor pour out of upper windows of three-story storefront in Detroit during Prohibition.
Streams of confiscated liquor pour out of upper windows of three-story storefront in Detroit during Prohibition.
WSU Virtual Motor City Collection (Detroit News)

11 Authentic Metro Detroit Speakeasies

Here a few historic Metro Detroit "blind pigs."

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Streams of confiscated liquor pour out of upper windows of three-story storefront in Detroit during Prohibition.
| WSU Virtual Motor City Collection (Detroit News)

Several years before the 18th Amendment took effect, Michigan went dry, but that didn't stop the industry. Detroit was a hotbed for bootlegging during the Prohibition era. In 1925, historians estimate the city hosted approximately 15,000 speakeasies and so called "blind pigs." While many closed, some managed to go mainstream. Here are few of Metro Detroit's authentic speakeasies.

Know of another notorious blind pig? Share in the comments. [Photo]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 2 Way Inn

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17897 Mount Elliott St
Detroit, MI 48212
(313) 891-4925
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Located in northeast Detroit, the Two Way Inn claims to be the oldest bar in Detroit having opened in 1876. During its tenure, Two Way was home to a hotel, a jail, a store, a brothel, and even a speakeasy. Photo

2. The Stonehouse Bar

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19803 Ralston St
Detroit, MI 48203
(313) 891-3333
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Located inside a 19th Century Victorian home east of Woodward, the bar was said to be a hangout for the Purple Gang (Al Capone’s muscle) during the risky Prohibition days. Today, it has a cool biker bar vibe with plenty of blues music. Photo

3. Eastside Tavern

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129 Avery
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 463-4223
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This dug out barn basement speakeasy was an ideal place for people to sneak a drink when the Michigan passed the Eighteenth Amendment. The ceilings are low enough that those over 6-feet-tall have to duck down. After 1933, The Eastside Tavern received a proper name and has been serving ever since. Photo

4. Abick's Bar

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3500 Gilbert St
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 894-9329
A true neighborhood bar, Abick’s was founded in 1919 by George and Katherine Abick, polish immigrants who helped fund the tavern with the help of Stroh’s Brewing Company. According to Model D, the bar continued to operate during Prohibition, selling something called “Pond’s Kil-A-Kol.” Photo

5. Toms Tavern

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10193 W 7 Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI 48221
(313) 862-9768
A notorious Detroit dive bar with loads of character, Tom's Tavern's ancient appearance is no ploy. The bar opened back in 1928 and time and again has proved itself a survivor—through fires and car crashes and theft. Photo

6. Tommy's Detroit Bar & Grill

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624 3rd St.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 965-2269
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In the basement below Tommy's Bar, Wayne State University archeologists performed an excavation and found evidence that Little Harry’s Speakeasy operated there. Customers would flash business cards to gain entrance to this historic blind pig, purportedly controlled by The Purple Gang. Photo

7. Cadieux Cafe

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4300 Cadieux Rd
Detroit, MI 48224
(313) 882-8560
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This Flemish bar is known for its mussels, Belgian beers, and the unusual game of feather bowling, but it began life as a Prohibition-era blind pig. Photo

8. Whiskey In The Jar

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2741 Yemans St
Hamtramck, MI 48212
(313) 873-4154
Located on Yemens Street in Hamtramck, Whiskey in the Jar began as prohibition speakeasy, but today it offers a classic dive bar vibe. Photo

9. Nancy Whiskey's Pub

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2644 Harrison St
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-4247
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Nancy Whiskey Pub has been serving booze for more than 100 years and even hosted its own speakeasy where Detroiters could go to grab a stiff drink when the nation went dry. The contemporary pub serves the same purpose with a 110-year-old liquor license. Photo

10. Gold Star Bar

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898 Vinewood St
Wyandotte, MI 48192
(734) 281-9464
Operating since 1923, The Gold Star is Wyandotte’s oldest bar. During the Prohibition era, the pub’s downstairs basement played host to a speakeasy. Photo

11. Ye Olde Tap Room

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14915 Charlevoix St
Detroit, MI 48215
(313) 824-1030
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Ye Olde Taproom was built using $5,000 in borrowed funds from Kling Brewing Co. on the cusp of prohibition. Come January 15, 1916, Michigan officially went dry but below a first-floor gaming room, the tavern continued to operate as a blind pig. Photo

1. 2 Way Inn

17897 Mount Elliott St, Detroit, MI 48212
Located in northeast Detroit, the Two Way Inn claims to be the oldest bar in Detroit having opened in 1876. During its tenure, Two Way was home to a hotel, a jail, a store, a brothel, and even a speakeasy. Photo
17897 Mount Elliott St
Detroit, MI 48212

2. The Stonehouse Bar

19803 Ralston St, Detroit, MI 48203
Located inside a 19th Century Victorian home east of Woodward, the bar was said to be a hangout for the Purple Gang (Al Capone’s muscle) during the risky Prohibition days. Today, it has a cool biker bar vibe with plenty of blues music. Photo
19803 Ralston St
Detroit, MI 48203

3. Eastside Tavern

129 Avery, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
This dug out barn basement speakeasy was an ideal place for people to sneak a drink when the Michigan passed the Eighteenth Amendment. The ceilings are low enough that those over 6-feet-tall have to duck down. After 1933, The Eastside Tavern received a proper name and has been serving ever since. Photo
129 Avery
Mount Clemens, MI 48043

4. Abick's Bar

3500 Gilbert St, Detroit, MI 48210
A true neighborhood bar, Abick’s was founded in 1919 by George and Katherine Abick, polish immigrants who helped fund the tavern with the help of Stroh’s Brewing Company. According to Model D, the bar continued to operate during Prohibition, selling something called “Pond’s Kil-A-Kol.” Photo
3500 Gilbert St
Detroit, MI 48210

5. Toms Tavern

10193 W 7 Mile Rd., Detroit, MI 48221
A notorious Detroit dive bar with loads of character, Tom's Tavern's ancient appearance is no ploy. The bar opened back in 1928 and time and again has proved itself a survivor—through fires and car crashes and theft. Photo
10193 W 7 Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI 48221

6. Tommy's Detroit Bar & Grill

624 3rd St., Detroit, MI 48226
In the basement below Tommy's Bar, Wayne State University archeologists performed an excavation and found evidence that Little Harry’s Speakeasy operated there. Customers would flash business cards to gain entrance to this historic blind pig, purportedly controlled by The Purple Gang. Photo
624 3rd St.
Detroit, MI 48226

7. Cadieux Cafe

4300 Cadieux Rd, Detroit, MI 48224
This Flemish bar is known for its mussels, Belgian beers, and the unusual game of feather bowling, but it began life as a Prohibition-era blind pig. Photo
4300 Cadieux Rd
Detroit, MI 48224

8. Whiskey In The Jar

2741 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Located on Yemens Street in Hamtramck, Whiskey in the Jar began as prohibition speakeasy, but today it offers a classic dive bar vibe. Photo
2741 Yemans St
Hamtramck, MI 48212

9. Nancy Whiskey's Pub

2644 Harrison St, Detroit, MI 48216
Nancy Whiskey Pub has been serving booze for more than 100 years and even hosted its own speakeasy where Detroiters could go to grab a stiff drink when the nation went dry. The contemporary pub serves the same purpose with a 110-year-old liquor license. Photo
2644 Harrison St
Detroit, MI 48216

10. Gold Star Bar

898 Vinewood St, Wyandotte, MI 48192
Operating since 1923, The Gold Star is Wyandotte’s oldest bar. During the Prohibition era, the pub’s downstairs basement played host to a speakeasy. Photo
898 Vinewood St
Wyandotte, MI 48192

11. Ye Olde Tap Room

14915 Charlevoix St, Detroit, MI 48215
Ye Olde Taproom was built using $5,000 in borrowed funds from Kling Brewing Co. on the cusp of prohibition. Come January 15, 1916, Michigan officially went dry but below a first-floor gaming room, the tavern continued to operate as a blind pig. Photo
14915 Charlevoix St
Detroit, MI 48215

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