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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.

2 Way Inn

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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

The Stonehouse Bar

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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

Eastside Tavern

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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

Abick's Bar

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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

Toms Tavern

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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

Tommy's Detroit Bar & Grill

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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

Cadieux Cafe

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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

Whiskey In The Jar

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

Nancy Whiskey's Pub

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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

Gold Star Bar

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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

Ye Olde Tap Room

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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

2 Way Inn

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

The Stonehouse Bar

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

Eastside Tavern

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

Abick's Bar

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

Toms Tavern

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

Tommy's Detroit Bar & Grill

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

Cadieux Cafe

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

Whiskey In The Jar

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

Nancy Whiskey's Pub

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

Gold Star Bar

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

Ye Olde Tap Room

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

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