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The interior of a Japanese style bar in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Olsovsky Williams

Here Are the 15 New Metro Detroit Bars to Know in January

A Japanese-style pub downtown, a wine bar-bookshop on the eastside, and more

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It’s the new year and you’ve resolved to get out there more often and check out the latest that Detroit has to offer in the way of bars and cafes where one can grab a cocktail, maybe a coffee beverage, meet up with friends, or curl up with a good book. Wait, what? Yeah, the bar scene in Detroit is rapidly changing. No longer are bars confined to dank dives (although we do love Detroit’s many friendly neighborhood dives!). Nor do they only serve as platforms for pricey cocktails dreamed up by mixologists. Bars now serve beers, mixed drinks, but also N/A options, and are extending their hours into daytime service. So no matter if you’re an oat milk latte girl or a craft beer boy, there’s bound to be an option in the region.

This month, we’ve freshened up this heatmap to ring in 2024. Exiting, are several spots, including, Unexpected Craft Brewing Company in Oak Park, Side Bar in Royal Oak, Hamtramck’s New Dodge, the Upright in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, and Apartment Disco. In their places, Sakazuki downtown, Flyleaf in Grosse Pointe Farms, Thirst Parlor Saloon, Spkrbox, Basan, and Bar Pigalle make their exits, to make room for Lenny’s Bar, Kamper’s, Barkside, Room 1904, and Cafe Sous Terre. Here’s where and what to drink in metro Detroit right now.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

The Rind

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The folks behind cheese and wine shop Mongers’ Provisions have branched out to Berkley, with the summer opening of the Rind Wine Bar. Expect a lot of what fans already love about Mongers’ like its famous grilled cheese sandwiches and charcuterie and cheese boards, along with a brief menu of small plates. Order wine from the bar or the spot’s bottle shop, where one can crack open a bottle for a small fee.

BARREL HOUSE

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The whiskey bar formerly known as Cornerstone Barrel House has moved on up to Ferndale, taking over the old Dino’s space on Woodward and rebranding as Barrel House. Whiskey-intensive drinks like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan are supplemented with a short list of seasonal cocktails, plus beer and wine. Sunday brunch brings tableside Mimosas, Aperol Spritzes, and boozy coffee drinks.

Eastern Palace Club

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Two words: Rum. Bucket. Okay, a few more: Key West beach bum vibes, a giant projection of palm trees and ocean waves, and skee-ball all work together to make even the dreariest day into a tropical holiday at this spot in Hazel Park. Weekend dance parties, music bingo on Tuesdays, and Margarita Mondays are among the featured promotions here. And the aforementioned rum bucket? Exactly what it sounds like: several brands of rum served in a plastic bucket with vodka, Falernum liqueur, assorted juices, and a strict limit of two per person. For food, Smoked Lotus BBQ is available on-site.

The Black Salt

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The Black Salt is a self-described “witchcraft cocktail bar” in Hamtramck. The building dates back more than a century, and among its many incarnations the space was formerly a goth and industrial hangout. Now, owner Zoey Ashwood has transformed the space into a serene, lush lounge evocative of European cafes where guests can order drinks that put the “craft” in cocktail as bartenders are trained to cast the optional spell on orders. Customers are invited to place their coaster logo-side up, indicating to the barkeep to make their drink “with ritual.”

Kelly's Bar Hamtramck

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Owners Kiersten Schilinski and Garrett Ragsdale have spent the past 18 months polishing up both the interior and exterior of this beloved Hamtramck dive, leveling floors, gutting and rebuilding the kitchen, and sprucing up the restrooms. The custom built bar rail and revamped back yard have earned the bar new fans, and taco nights, Kellyoke and (motor) bike nights keep the regular crowd shuffling in. Keep an eye out for rotating and random $2 canned beer or $3 draft or $4 liquor specials.

Flyleaf

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Cozying up with a good book and a California cab just got a little easier with Flyleaf, the cafe and bar that doubles as a bookstore. The Grosse Pointe Farms establishment attracts folks looking for a peaceful place where one can enjoy an espresso by day and switch to a cocktail at night — all within reach of literary treasures. Crispelli’s supplies the pastries and guests can enjoy small snacks while perusing the spot’s inventory of cookbooks or getting comfortable on upholstered lounge seating.

Lenny's Bar

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Lenny’s is the newest spot on the eastside right on the border of Grosse Pointe Park and Detroit. Here, cocktails are priced at around $8 to $10, shot and beer specials are available daily, and pool is free to all. The bar is named after a Newfoundland poodle called Lenny, one of the owner’s dogs.

Barkside

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Dogs and booze can co-exist on the eastside at this new beer garden specifically designed with people’s best friend in mind. Barkside opened the weekend of November 4 at Kercheval and Van Dyke in West Village. Humans can order craft beers, cans of wine or spritzers, as well as n/a beverages from indoor and outdoor areas. Dogs will appreciate socializing — leash-free — with other canines in a park-like setting.

Cafe Sous Terre

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This cafe and bar opened to its first customers at the end of July 2023. Situated in the basement of a brick housing development turned Airbnb, Cafe Sous Terre is an homage to the French cafes of the early 20th century. Decorated in natural tones with pops of green from subway tile and long booth seating, it’s a casual spot for a coffee soda, cocktail, or a sandwich — whether studying during daylight hours or having a wind down with friends after work.

Tocororo

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Billing itself as “Eastern Market’s living room,” Tocororo Detroit is situated in the former Stache International. The ownership has maintained both the carousel horses and unfussy approach to service. Coral pinks and tropical turquoise are accented by greenery and neon. Fanciful boat drinks, blended margaritas and painkillers head up Connor Payne’s bar menu, while chef David Previch whips up Buffalo curry fries, burgers, and monstrous smoked chicken legs.

Mickey Lyons

Brix Wine

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Wine and marketing genius Mikiah Westbrooks first opened Brix wine bar in West Village in 2017, but shuttered the spot in 2018 amid a landlord dispute. Westbrooks’s new spot opened in Rivertown in early May with an emphasis on education, tasting, and retail. Westbrooks is happy to share recommendations and her extensive knowledge about Michigan-made Rieslings, old world Pinot Noir, or her own label, Haus of Harriet, named after Harriet Tubman. The shop and tasting room are open to the public and can accommodate private tastings, public events, and music nights.

Kamper's Rooftop Lounge

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Kamper’s rooftop lounge is set atop the 14th floor of the historic Book Tower. Named after the iconic architect who designed the skyscraper, the bar menu features Spanish-inspired tapas like tortillas de patate and croquetas with Jamón Ibérico. To drink, the cocktail menu leans on gin and tonics, negronis, sangria, and sherry cocktails. The indoor area seats up to 40 customers, plus another 14 at the bar, and the patio has seating for up to 86. Reservations are recommended.

Room 1904

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A speakeasy-style bar has revealed itself on the upper level of the building that houses Jacoby’s Bar in downtown’s Bricktown area. Guests here can try a variety of Michigan-made craft beers, premium spirits — including an absinthe service — and cocktails like the The 1904 Lip Service Rye, citrus cordial, cherry liquer, bitters, and absinthe. A selection of small bites like bruschetta tapenade, beet salad, and chicken skewers are also available.

District 142 - Live Music & Event Venue

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There can never be too many live music venues in Detroit Rock City, and downriver welcomed the newest addition to the scene with District 142 in Wyandotte in March of 2023. According to the Detroit Free Press, the venue encompasses 15,000 square feet of drinking and dancing space. And while sophisticated cocktails may not be the highest priority, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a can of Dad beer and rocking out to the Red Not Chili Peppers or Yachtley Crew.

Sakazuki

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This new Japanese-style pub set within the Book Tower downtown emphasizes sake and offers it by the glass, in addition to serving up kitschy, fruit-forward cocktails like the Sailor Moon and the Hello, Kat. For eating, katsu sandos, wagyu hamburgers and hot dogs and ekiben, described as being akin to the bento boxes commonly sold at train stations in Japan, are all on the menu.

The interior of a Japanese style bar in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Olsovsky Williams

The Rind

The folks behind cheese and wine shop Mongers’ Provisions have branched out to Berkley, with the summer opening of the Rind Wine Bar. Expect a lot of what fans already love about Mongers’ like its famous grilled cheese sandwiches and charcuterie and cheese boards, along with a brief menu of small plates. Order wine from the bar or the spot’s bottle shop, where one can crack open a bottle for a small fee.

BARREL HOUSE

The whiskey bar formerly known as Cornerstone Barrel House has moved on up to Ferndale, taking over the old Dino’s space on Woodward and rebranding as Barrel House. Whiskey-intensive drinks like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan are supplemented with a short list of seasonal cocktails, plus beer and wine. Sunday brunch brings tableside Mimosas, Aperol Spritzes, and boozy coffee drinks.

Eastern Palace Club

Two words: Rum. Bucket. Okay, a few more: Key West beach bum vibes, a giant projection of palm trees and ocean waves, and skee-ball all work together to make even the dreariest day into a tropical holiday at this spot in Hazel Park. Weekend dance parties, music bingo on Tuesdays, and Margarita Mondays are among the featured promotions here. And the aforementioned rum bucket? Exactly what it sounds like: several brands of rum served in a plastic bucket with vodka, Falernum liqueur, assorted juices, and a strict limit of two per person. For food, Smoked Lotus BBQ is available on-site.

The Black Salt

The Black Salt is a self-described “witchcraft cocktail bar” in Hamtramck. The building dates back more than a century, and among its many incarnations the space was formerly a goth and industrial hangout. Now, owner Zoey Ashwood has transformed the space into a serene, lush lounge evocative of European cafes where guests can order drinks that put the “craft” in cocktail as bartenders are trained to cast the optional spell on orders. Customers are invited to place their coaster logo-side up, indicating to the barkeep to make their drink “with ritual.”

Kelly's Bar Hamtramck

Owners Kiersten Schilinski and Garrett Ragsdale have spent the past 18 months polishing up both the interior and exterior of this beloved Hamtramck dive, leveling floors, gutting and rebuilding the kitchen, and sprucing up the restrooms. The custom built bar rail and revamped back yard have earned the bar new fans, and taco nights, Kellyoke and (motor) bike nights keep the regular crowd shuffling in. Keep an eye out for rotating and random $2 canned beer or $3 draft or $4 liquor specials.

Flyleaf

Cozying up with a good book and a California cab just got a little easier with Flyleaf, the cafe and bar that doubles as a bookstore. The Grosse Pointe Farms establishment attracts folks looking for a peaceful place where one can enjoy an espresso by day and switch to a cocktail at night — all within reach of literary treasures. Crispelli’s supplies the pastries and guests can enjoy small snacks while perusing the spot’s inventory of cookbooks or getting comfortable on upholstered lounge seating.

Lenny's Bar

Lenny’s is the newest spot on the eastside right on the border of Grosse Pointe Park and Detroit. Here, cocktails are priced at around $8 to $10, shot and beer specials are available daily, and pool is free to all. The bar is named after a Newfoundland poodle called Lenny, one of the owner’s dogs.

Barkside

Dogs and booze can co-exist on the eastside at this new beer garden specifically designed with people’s best friend in mind. Barkside opened the weekend of November 4 at Kercheval and Van Dyke in West Village. Humans can order craft beers, cans of wine or spritzers, as well as n/a beverages from indoor and outdoor areas. Dogs will appreciate socializing — leash-free — with other canines in a park-like setting.

Cafe Sous Terre

This cafe and bar opened to its first customers at the end of July 2023. Situated in the basement of a brick housing development turned Airbnb, Cafe Sous Terre is an homage to the French cafes of the early 20th century. Decorated in natural tones with pops of green from subway tile and long booth seating, it’s a casual spot for a coffee soda, cocktail, or a sandwich — whether studying during daylight hours or having a wind down with friends after work.

Tocororo

Billing itself as “Eastern Market’s living room,” Tocororo Detroit is situated in the former Stache International. The ownership has maintained both the carousel horses and unfussy approach to service. Coral pinks and tropical turquoise are accented by greenery and neon. Fanciful boat drinks, blended margaritas and painkillers head up Connor Payne’s bar menu, while chef David Previch whips up Buffalo curry fries, burgers, and monstrous smoked chicken legs.

Mickey Lyons

Brix Wine

Wine and marketing genius Mikiah Westbrooks first opened Brix wine bar in West Village in 2017, but shuttered the spot in 2018 amid a landlord dispute. Westbrooks’s new spot opened in Rivertown in early May with an emphasis on education, tasting, and retail. Westbrooks is happy to share recommendations and her extensive knowledge about Michigan-made Rieslings, old world Pinot Noir, or her own label, Haus of Harriet, named after Harriet Tubman. The shop and tasting room are open to the public and can accommodate private tastings, public events, and music nights.

Kamper's Rooftop Lounge

Kamper’s rooftop lounge is set atop the 14th floor of the historic Book Tower. Named after the iconic architect who designed the skyscraper, the bar menu features Spanish-inspired tapas like tortillas de patate and croquetas with Jamón Ibérico. To drink, the cocktail menu leans on gin and tonics, negronis, sangria, and sherry cocktails. The indoor area seats up to 40 customers, plus another 14 at the bar, and the patio has seating for up to 86. Reservations are recommended.

Room 1904

A speakeasy-style bar has revealed itself on the upper level of the building that houses Jacoby’s Bar in downtown’s Bricktown area. Guests here can try a variety of Michigan-made craft beers, premium spirits — including an absinthe service — and cocktails like the The 1904 Lip Service Rye, citrus cordial, cherry liquer, bitters, and absinthe. A selection of small bites like bruschetta tapenade, beet salad, and chicken skewers are also available.

District 142 - Live Music & Event Venue

There can never be too many live music venues in Detroit Rock City, and downriver welcomed the newest addition to the scene with District 142 in Wyandotte in March of 2023. According to the Detroit Free Press, the venue encompasses 15,000 square feet of drinking and dancing space. And while sophisticated cocktails may not be the highest priority, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a can of Dad beer and rocking out to the Red Not Chili Peppers or Yachtley Crew.

Sakazuki

This new Japanese-style pub set within the Book Tower downtown emphasizes sake and offers it by the glass, in addition to serving up kitschy, fruit-forward cocktails like the Sailor Moon and the Hello, Kat. For eating, katsu sandos, wagyu hamburgers and hot dogs and ekiben, described as being akin to the bento boxes commonly sold at train stations in Japan, are all on the menu.

The interior of a Japanese style bar in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Olsovsky Williams

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