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25 Historic Metro Detroit Restaurants and Bars

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In honor of Classics Week, we at Eater have done a thorough survey to bring you the most up-to-date list of historic restaurants in Metro Detroit. Offered here in approximately chronological order are 25 of Southeast Michigan's oldest restaurants. We've probably missed some, so let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. White Horse Inn Metamora

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Founded in 1850, the White Horse Inn was Michigan’s oldest continually operating restaurant until it shuttered in 2012. Located in Metamora, it’s a bit of a trek from Detroit, but worth a visit for a look at the Inn’s stunning restoration.

2. 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 has been home to a hotel, a jail, a store, a brothel, and more. Tavern lore says it got its name from the two ways out of every room, allowing for a quick exit.

3. Roma Cafe

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3401 Riopelle St
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 831-5940
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This classic Italian restaurant opened in 1890. According to the restaurant, the Marazza family opened Roma as a boarding house and restaurant for farmers vending at Eastern Market. The business was sold in 1918 to John Battaglia and Morris Sossi, and shortly after, when Battaglia died Sossi took on full ownership. His family is in it’s third generation of running the restaurant.

4. Historic Holly Hotel Restaurant

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110 Battle Aly
Holly, MI 48442
(248) 634-5208
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This restaurant and former hotel in Holly Michigan, debuted in 1891 in a Queen Anne Victorian building. The Holly Hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including two former staff members, Mr. Hirst and Nora Kane, who are said to materialize from time to time. In 1908, pro-Temperance campaigner Carry Nation and her supporters stormed the restaurant smashing whiskey bottles and clubbing the Holly Hotel patrons until the owner had her arrested.

5. Jacoby's German Biergarten

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624 Brush St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-7067
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In 1904, Albert Jacoby, a native of Luxembourg, founded Jacoby’s German Biergarten after striking a deal with the old Voight Brewing Company to takeover Jake’s Tavern on Brush Street. According to the restaurant’s history, Albert convinced Mina a German cook from the Pontchartrain Hotel to come join him at Jacoby’s and also become his wife.

6. Polish Yacht Club

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5249 Joseph Campau St
Detroit, MI 48211
(313) 925-5335
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Ivanhoe Café, also known as the the Polish Yacht Club, opened in 1909 on the corner of Joseph Campau and Frederik. This working-class restaurant and bar offers traditional polish food, from plates of pickled veggies to pierogis.

7. 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.”

8. American Coney Island

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114 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-7758
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The story goes several different ways depending on who you talk to, but American Coney Island was established in 1917 (in approximately the same place it stands today) by Gust Keros a Greek immigrant from Dara. This first half of the dueling Coneys, has stood out from its peers in several food competitions and now has locations as far off as Las Vegas.

9. 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.

10. Joe Muer Seafood

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400 Renaissance Ctr
Detroit, MI 48243
(313) 567-6837
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For nearly 70 years Joe Muer Seafood served classic rescipes near downtown Detroit. However, times changed and many of the loyal customers who used to frequent Joe’s fell away, forcing the restaurant to shutter in 1998. But the restaurant had a second chance in Joe Vicari, who decided to revive the concept in the Renaissance Center with the help of Joe Muer.

11. Cliff Bell's

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2030 Park Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-2543
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Club owner Cliff Bell had a slew of successful bar ventures in Detroit before opening Cliff Bell’s on Park Avenue in 1935. This luxurious bar had all of the state-of-the art amenities at the time including refrigeration and air conditioning. Bell ran the club until 1958 when he retired. Still the club operated under other names until 1985 when it when quiet. In 2005, renovations began on the original space and the concept with all its history was brought back to life.

12. The Dakota Inn-Rathskeller

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17324 John R St
Detroit, MI 48203
(313) 867-9722
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Dakota Inn offers a taste of Detroit history. The restaurant opened in August 1933 and many of the pre-WWII interior elements including German illustrations on the walls have have been preserved. Expect some classic kitsch like waitresses in dirndls, but also an authentic (vinegary) Bavarian flavor experience.

13. Baker's Keyboard Lounge

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20510 Livernois Ave
Detroit, MI 48221
(313) 345-6300
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Baker’s Keyboard Lounge was opened in May of 1933 by Chris and Fannie Baker as a sandwich shop, but by 1934 their son Clarence was booking jazz artists. Throughout its history, Baker’s has hosted everyone from Ella Fitsgerald to Miles Davis to Nat “King” Cole.

14. Grand Trunk Pub

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612 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-3043
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Originally home to the Traub Bros. & Co. jewelry store, Grand Trunk’s building has was a railroad ticketing office and hotel before being converted into a bar in 1935.

15. Sibley Gardens

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1060 W Jefferson Ave.
Trenton, MI 48183
(734) 285-1707
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Located south of Detroit in Trenton, Michigan, Sibley Gardens opened in 1935 serving Italian cuisine. The Piunti family purchase the business in 1944 and has owned it ever since.

16. Lafayette Coney Island

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118 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 964-8198
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While most accounts are frustratingly vague, Lafayette Coney Island is said to have opened its doors next to American in 1936 under Bill Keros, serving a different style of chili and hotdog. A little more than 25 years ago the restaurant was sold to Bill’s employees who run the restaurant to this day. While competitions may approve of American’s recipe, the greasy spoon feel of Lafayette is what fans say makes it the best Coney.

17. Buddy's Pizza

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17125 Conant St
Detroit, MI 48212
(313) 892-9001
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Buddy’s was founded in 1936 on Conant and Six Mile, however, customers had to wait a full 10 years for the restaurant’s true innovation—the Detroit style pizza. Buddy’s now has locations in seven cities around Metro Detroit.

18. London Chop House

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155 W Congress St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-0277
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Like Joe Muer’s, the London Chop House opened in 1938 for a high-end clientele, but the icon shuttered in 1991 when it fell out of fashion. In 2012, the restaurant was reincarnated with a 1960s feel.

19. Lelli's Steakhouse

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885 N Opdyke Rd.
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
(248) 373-4440
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Lelli’s Prime Steaks Chops and Seafood was established in 1939 by Nerio and Irene Lelli. This old school restaurant serves Italian cuisine and has maintained a strong following over the last 75 years.

20. Miller's Bar

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23700 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 565-2577
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A popular burger joint, Miller’s Bar opened its doors in Dearborn 1941. The burgers, fries, and onion rings are served up ultra-casual on squares of wax paper.

21. Mario's

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4222 2nd Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-1616
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This retro Italian eatery opened in 1948. Mario’s cultivates a classic Italian dining mystique with tuxedo-clad waiters and a substantial surf and turf menu. The restaurant offers shuttle service to various local attractions.

22. Sindbad's At-The-River

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100 Saint Clair St
Detroit, MI 48214
(313) 822-8000
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Located along the Detroit River, Sinbad’s Restaurant and Marina was opened in 1949. The name recalls the fictional sailor from "1001 Nights" and restaurant menus and napkins feature classic mermaid illustrations. In 1998, Sinbad’s received an remodel for its 50th anniversary.

23. Scotty Simpsons Fish & Chips

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22200 Fenkell St
Detroit, MI 48223
(313) 533-0950
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Located on the corner of Fenkell and Dophin in Brightmoor, Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips has beena neighborhood staple since in opened in 1950. While fish & chicken restaurants dot the Detroit map, Scotty’s is the real deal offering a straight-forward menu with some surprises like frog legs.

24. Victor Red Hot's Coney Island

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12 Victor St
Highland Park, MI 48203
(313) 868-0766
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One of the oldest Coney Islands in Detroit, Highland Park’s Red Hot’s was founded 1921 serving scratch-made chili. With the massive Ford Plant nearby, Red Hot’s likely served droves of auto worker customers during its life on the block.

25. Duly's Place

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5458 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 554-3076
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Founded in 1921 by Duly Seit, Duly’s Place is a Southwest Detroit Coney joint known for its classic recipe. Opened 24-hours, this hub is said to have the best Coney dogs according to its loyal fans, who count Anthony Bourdain among them.

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1. White Horse Inn Metamora

Metamora, MI
Founded in 1850, the White Horse Inn was Michigan’s oldest continually operating restaurant until it shuttered in 2012. Located in Metamora, it’s a bit of a trek from Detroit, but worth a visit for a look at the Inn’s stunning restoration.

2. 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 has been home to a hotel, a jail, a store, a brothel, and more. Tavern lore says it got its name from the two ways out of every room, allowing for a quick exit.
17897 Mount Elliott St
Detroit, MI 48212

3. Roma Cafe

3401 Riopelle St, Detroit, MI 48207
This classic Italian restaurant opened in 1890. According to the restaurant, the Marazza family opened Roma as a boarding house and restaurant for farmers vending at Eastern Market. The business was sold in 1918 to John Battaglia and Morris Sossi, and shortly after, when Battaglia died Sossi took on full ownership. His family is in it’s third generation of running the restaurant.
3401 Riopelle St
Detroit, MI 48207

4. Historic Holly Hotel Restaurant

110 Battle Aly, Holly, MI 48442
This restaurant and former hotel in Holly Michigan, debuted in 1891 in a Queen Anne Victorian building. The Holly Hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including two former staff members, Mr. Hirst and Nora Kane, who are said to materialize from time to time. In 1908, pro-Temperance campaigner Carry Nation and her supporters stormed the restaurant smashing whiskey bottles and clubbing the Holly Hotel patrons until the owner had her arrested.
110 Battle Aly
Holly, MI 48442

5. Jacoby's German Biergarten

624 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48226
In 1904, Albert Jacoby, a native of Luxembourg, founded Jacoby’s German Biergarten after striking a deal with the old Voight Brewing Company to takeover Jake’s Tavern on Brush Street. According to the restaurant’s history, Albert convinced Mina a German cook from the Pontchartrain Hotel to come join him at Jacoby’s and also become his wife.
624 Brush St
Detroit, MI 48226

6. Polish Yacht Club

5249 Joseph Campau St, Detroit, MI 48211
Ivanhoe Café, also known as the the Polish Yacht Club, opened in 1909 on the corner of Joseph Campau and Frederik. This working-class restaurant and bar offers traditional polish food, from plates of pickled veggies to pierogis.
5249 Joseph Campau St
Detroit, MI 48211

7. 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.”
3500 Gilbert St
Detroit, MI 48210

8. American Coney Island

114 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
The story goes several different ways depending on who you talk to, but American Coney Island was established in 1917 (in approximately the same place it stands today) by Gust Keros a Greek immigrant from Dara. This first half of the dueling Coneys, has stood out from its peers in several food competitions and now has locations as far off as Las Vegas.
114 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

9. 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.
19803 Ralston St
Detroit, MI 48203

10. Joe Muer Seafood

400 Renaissance Ctr, Detroit, MI 48243
For nearly 70 years Joe Muer Seafood served classic rescipes near downtown Detroit. However, times changed and many of the loyal customers who used to frequent Joe’s fell away, forcing the restaurant to shutter in 1998. But the restaurant had a second chance in Joe Vicari, who decided to revive the concept in the Renaissance Center with the help of Joe Muer.
400 Renaissance Ctr
Detroit, MI 48243

11. Cliff Bell's

2030 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
Club owner Cliff Bell had a slew of successful bar ventures in Detroit before opening Cliff Bell’s on Park Avenue in 1935. This luxurious bar had all of the state-of-the art amenities at the time including refrigeration and air conditioning. Bell ran the club until 1958 when he retired. Still the club operated under other names until 1985 when it when quiet. In 2005, renovations began on the original space and the concept with all its history was brought back to life.
2030 Park Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

12. The Dakota Inn-Rathskeller

17324 John R St, Detroit, MI 48203
Dakota Inn offers a taste of Detroit history. The restaurant opened in August 1933 and many of the pre-WWII interior elements including German illustrations on the walls have have been preserved. Expect some classic kitsch like waitresses in dirndls, but also an authentic (vinegary) Bavarian flavor experience.
17324 John R St
Detroit, MI 48203

13. Baker's Keyboard Lounge

20510 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI 48221
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge was opened in May of 1933 by Chris and Fannie Baker as a sandwich shop, but by 1934 their son Clarence was booking jazz artists. Throughout its history, Baker’s has hosted everyone from Ella Fitsgerald to Miles Davis to Nat “King” Cole.
20510 Livernois Ave
Detroit, MI 48221

14. Grand Trunk Pub

612 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
Originally home to the Traub Bros. & Co. jewelry store, Grand Trunk’s building has was a railroad ticketing office and hotel before being converted into a bar in 1935.
612 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

15. Sibley Gardens

1060 W Jefferson Ave., Trenton, MI 48183
Located south of Detroit in Trenton, Michigan, Sibley Gardens opened in 1935 serving Italian cuisine. The Piunti family purchase the business in 1944 and has owned it ever since.
1060 W Jefferson Ave.
Trenton, MI 48183

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16. Lafayette Coney Island

118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
While most accounts are frustratingly vague, Lafayette Coney Island is said to have opened its doors next to American in 1936 under Bill Keros, serving a different style of chili and hotdog. A little more than 25 years ago the restaurant was sold to Bill’s employees who run the restaurant to this day. While competitions may approve of American’s recipe, the greasy spoon feel of Lafayette is what fans say makes it the best Coney.
118 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

17. Buddy's Pizza

17125 Conant St, Detroit, MI 48212
Buddy’s was founded in 1936 on Conant and Six Mile, however, customers had to wait a full 10 years for the restaurant’s true innovation—the Detroit style pizza. Buddy’s now has locations in seven cities around Metro Detroit.
17125 Conant St
Detroit, MI 48212

18. London Chop House

155 W Congress St, Detroit, MI 48226
Like Joe Muer’s, the London Chop House opened in 1938 for a high-end clientele, but the icon shuttered in 1991 when it fell out of fashion. In 2012, the restaurant was reincarnated with a 1960s feel.
155 W Congress St
Detroit, MI 48226

19. Lelli's Steakhouse

885 N Opdyke Rd., Auburn Hills, MI 48326