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keer5771

Detroit Nightlife

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hey everyone, lurker from kentucky here...

i've been curious about detroit for a while now, so i figured this would be a good place to get some real answers from real people.

basically, i want to know how the nightlife is up there in the heart of downtown detroit. for example:

1) is it a fragmented entertainment market, or are the bars and clubs mostly concentrated in one particular area? e.g. memphis's beale st or louisville's bardstown rd. either way, where's all the action??

2) is it safe? do you/would you go to where the bars and clubs are without worrying, or is it risky? would you let your kids go there?

i'm probably coming up there in the next few weeks and am planning to sample the nightlife. hopefully you guys can point me in the right direction.

thanks! :D

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I've really never felt unsafe dowtown, even wandering around alone past midnight. Downtown is one of the safest, if not the safest neighborhood. The worst thing you'll encounter is the occaisional panhandler, but what major city doesn't have those?

As for the nightlife, I can't say a whole lot--being a year off legal drinking age and all--but a big hotspot is Greektown, on the east side of downtown. Lots of bars, restaurants, and a casino. It's a fun place. There's also Foxtown, the area surrounding the Fox Theater and Comerica Park. I'm sure some of the others can fill in the whole lot I'm missing.

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Yes, safety is never a thing to worry about downtown, but it gets incorrectly labeled along with the rest of the bad parts as "Murder Capitol".

As Aaron said above, Greektown is a good district of nightlife. Detroit has 3 casinos, Greektown, MGM, and Motown. I'd recommend Motown for the Detroit touches they put on everything.

For bars, you can just drive around and find some pretty easily. Town Pump is a very friendly place, there is other areas I'd recommend like Detroit Beer Co., Club Bleu, State Bar.

There's is some other's like Hockeytown too. You just have to do a drive and see what looks appealing.

There is some locations listed at mapdetroit.com I'd look there.

Glad to help!

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As Aaron said above, Greektown is a good district of nightlife. Detroit has 3 casinos, Greektown, MGM, and Motown. I'd recommend Motown for the Detroit touches they put on everything.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Its Motorcity Casino. Check out the Hard Rock Cafe in the Compuware Building at Campus Martius Park. All the places Aaron and SNWEB.ORG mentioned are also great places.

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For bars, you can just drive around and find some pretty easily. Town Pump is a very friendly place, there is other areas I'd recommend like Detroit Beer Co., Club Bleu, State Bar.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

so it sounds like a pretty fragmented market...would you agree? can you drive downtown from the suburbs, park your car in one place, and walk to a bunch of different destinations and go the whole night without getting in your car to go from place to place?

or do you have to pretty much stick to a bar/club once you're there if you dont want to drive anywhere?

what would you guys say is the most dense entertainment district? if i wanted to just park my car and walk around all night, hopping from place to place, where would i go?

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I've wandered alone downtown alone past 4:00 AM alone, and the biggest problem I had was the bum that who lying on a steam vent in the middle of the sidewalk and trying to keep warm.

As far as bars & clubs go, as others have mentioned, Greektown is the heart of Detroit's nightlife. You can check out this site for descriptions and addresses: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?pageId=235

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As far as bars & clubs go, as others have mentioned, Greektown is the heart of Detroit's nightlife.  You can check out this site for descriptions and addresses: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?pageId=235

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the info! can you give me a better idea of where exactly greektown is? what streets surround it?

thanks!

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so it sounds like a pretty fragmented market...would you agree?  can you drive downtown from the suburbs, park your car in one place, and walk to a bunch of different destinations and go the whole night without getting in your car to go from place to place?

or do you have to pretty much stick to a bar/club once you're there if you dont want to drive anywhere?

what would you guys say is the most dense entertainment district?  if i wanted to just park my car and walk around all night, hopping from place to place, where would i go?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Greektown is the most dense entertainment district. You can park in the Greektown Casino Parking Garage & then get the ticket validated inside the casino so that it is free. This will put you right in Greektown. It is short walk from there to Broadway. The Premier parking garage on Woodward is open 24 hours, I believe, and is centrally located downtown. It is a few blocks south of Club Bleu & Tavern on the Park. Just north of where Club Bleu & Tavern on the Park are is the foxtown area, where Hockeytown Cafe is. Unfortunately it's a bit of a distance from that area to Greektown. It's not an unwalkable distance though. Downtown Detroit is actually quite small in area (about 1 square mile)

The Town Pump is a bit off the beaten path, but you shouldn't have any problems finding parking on the street.

As far as bar hopping goes, the People Mover runs until 11 PM. I'm not quite sure why it doesn't run until 2:00 AM...then it would be much more useful for bar hopping.

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Greektown is centered along Monroe Street, and stretches from Randolph to 375. 

Map:

http://www.visitdetroit.com/linclude/maps/greektown.pdf

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

thanks a lot allan, you guys have been very helpful. of course, if anyone wants to add anything, i can always use more input! :)

what are everyone's favorite bars/clubs in downtown? what does a typical night entail for you partygoers? where do you start/finish?

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thanks a lot allan, you guys have been very helpful.  of course, if anyone wants to add anything, i can always use more input!  :)

what are everyone's favorite bars/clubs in downtown?  what does a typical night entail for you partygoers?  where do you start/finish?

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If you are in the area for a few days, I highly recommend downtown Royal Oak. It's maybe 15-20 mins away from downtown Detroit. Very compact, you can park and walk to many places, lively bars with live music, and very attractive people! I think there is something for everyone there! If you don't make it to Royal Oak I recommend Club Bleu in Detroit.

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Oslo on Woodward it probably the most "trendy" thing Detroit has going on. When I go downtown to go bar hopping, my list usually includes: Oslo, Coaches Corner, Detroit Beer Company, and Fifth Avenue (inside Comerica Park).

By the way, what brings you to Detroit. Just curiousity?

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By the way, what brings you to Detroit.  Just curiousity?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

curiousity and business, actually. i'm in the entertainment industry, but know nothing about the detroit market. i'm looking for opportunities in the area and i'm just trying to get acclimated and figured the best place would be actual people with actual experiences to share and who don't have a vested interest (hopefully) in any particular place.

you guys are a much better resource than any of those hokey city guides :)

seriously though, i appreciate all the input so far.

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Anyplace in the CBD is walkable to any other place IMHO. I define the CBD by the freeways on the W,N, & E along with the river to the south.

It is about a mile square. However, most of the nightlife is in roughly a half moon shape along woodward and bulging to the east into Greek town. The Town Pump Tavern forms the northmost tip of the half moon. The people mover helps bring things that much closer together if you really don't want to walk.

One bar in the CBD that I have heard good things about but haven't made it to is Bookies. It is an exception to the half moon rule. So is the Leeland club which is a goth club.

The Majestic complex, the bronx bar, the cass cafe, and a host of other great nightlife is north of the CBD in the Cass Cooridor and along Woodward in Midtown. It would be a long walk from the CBD, but not a day hike. I recomend driving and parking or taking a cab.

Corktown bars are out of the CBD but are also worth a look.

There are a few places on the East Riverfront too.

One club that hasn't been mentioned is Centre Street Lounge on 311 E Grand River on Harmonie park. It recently reopened with a new owner. Depending on the night, they have house or various forms of dance music DJs.. It is only a few blocks from the sushi joint and house club Oslo, which I also highly recomend.

And a word about Windsor (the Canadian city to the south):

It is great if you are under 21, or if you want to see really good "exotic" entertainment. Otherwise you will be irritated by all of the American teenagers over there.

Some thinks to help:

You could also ask the same question on:

http://www.detroit.com/

(I'm sure you'll get different answers.)

Previously mentioned online map and city guide (beta)

http://www.mapdetroit.com/

Great newspaper to look up venues, nightlife, and restaurants, and read reviews

http://www.metrotimes.com/

(You should be able to look up any place mentioned here and get some info about it. Or search by features and see what you get.)

A few music Scene Links:

http://www.souldegamusic.com/

http://www.ghostlyinternational.com/

http://www.detroitclubscene.com/

http://motorcityrocks.com/

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Anyplace in the CBD is walkable to any other place IMHO.  I define the CBD by the freeways on the W,N, & E along with the river to the south.

It is about a mile square.  However, most of the nightlife is in roughly a half moon shape along woodward and bulging to the east into Greek town.  The Town Pump Tavern forms the northmost tip of the half moon.  The people mover helps bring things that much closer together if you really don't want to walk.

lol, i was actually starting to notice that sort of shape, the more i stared at the map with my notes on it. thanks for the info, that was very helpful.

and now the most important question of all: do you guys feel like something is missing in detroit's downtown nightlife? if so, what is it?

what does everyone long for downtown? it could be anything: a certain style or concept, a particular bar or club you saw in another city, an entire development of some sort (see PowerPlant Live! in Baltimore, Fourth Street Live! in Louisville, Denver Pavilions)...you get the idea.

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Here's some more.

The Old Shillelagh (www.oldshillelagh.com) is a dumpy, but fun irish pub located in on the west side of greektown. People get in line at 4:00am to go in on St. Patty's day!

If you would like a German pub with good German food, I would recomend Jacoby's on Brush street which opened in 1902 I believe.

People have mentioned the town pump and that is probably my personal favorite bar in downtown, but I'm more of a pub type guy.

Also, you have to go to the bar in the top of the Ren Cen (72nd floor). Just tell the person you just want to go the to lounge level and you can go up for free! Drink are the going bar rate, which really surprised me. See the Ren Cen thread for some more details and times it opens.

Spend the 50 cents and take the people mover around. Enjoy the view and get off at various stops and see what you find! The other week when I was on the people mover, there were some mid 20's guys on there getting off at every stop and would find a bar, get some drinks, and get back on until the next stop! I'm not sure how far along they were, but it was only 7:30 and they already looked hammered!

As every one stated the downtown area is very safe and there is a lot of police presence.

We're glad the forumers could be of help! All we ask in return is that you spread the good work about Detroit :)!

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