Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor

Living in Royal Oak, surrounded by choice bars and restaurants, you never know when you might rediscover your former favorite place. Take Goodnite Gracie’s for example. It’s simply the greatest martini bar in Oakland County. Yet I haven’t been there in a few years. How did it escape my bar-dar?

Yes, it can be a challenge to find a spot to sit on a Friday or Saturday night. Doug and I got lucky and plopped down in two chairs by the window around 9pm, the only table open. The first martini I rediscovered was the Vixen, made of raspberry infused vodka, Midori, Chambord, and pineapple juice. Heavy on the raspberry flavor, the Vixen is a thoroughly enjoyable adult beverage. I was in sugary heaven as Doug polished off a few Coors Lights. Those always taste like, well, beer.

I re-remembered my other favorite martini is the Bellini, so rather than pine away all night, I figured ordering one would be in order. The Bellini is Stoli peach vodka, peach nectar, topped with champagne, and in this instance, an (invisible) orange slice. Maybe the bartender was out of them for the evening? No matter. The Bellini tastes like summertime in a glass, akin to sucking the juice straight out of a peach. Yummy with or without an orange slice.

Happy Place

If I wasn’t already in my martini happy place, I looked around and noticed I wasn’t the oldest person in the bar. Hooray! I put a gold star next to Goodnite Gracie’s in my mental Royal Oak bar rolodex. A diverse crowd mingled beneath the two-foot disco ball, another reason to love it there.

Two longhaired blonds in black dresses, heels, and fishnet stockings approached us and asked if we wanted to sample Jose Cuervo’s 100% de agave shots. “Isn’t that tequila?” I asked. Oh, how I hated turning down something free, but tequila is nasty. We eventually agreed to take one for the two of us so at least I got the shot glass for free. I also learned Doug doesn’t like tequila, either. His exact quote: “Tequila is the most wretched substance on earth.”

We didn’t stay to boogie on the 10×10 foot dance floor, if it’s even that big. The DJ played fusion jazz around 10pm and then started mixing some old school dance tunes. I sang all the words to “Cool It Now” by New Edition. Doug, who is younger than I, and a heavy metal enthusiast, said, “I’ve never heard this song before.” Yikes. Maybe I was the oldest person in the bar.

Comet Burgers

Comet Burgers on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak (credit: Vicki Briganti)

Late Night Scooby Snacks

What better way to end a night in Royal Oak than at Comet Burgers? Not my idea, by the way. I scarfed down two delicious sliders and half an order of waffle French fries. I convinced myself I was saving calories by not ordering a Coke.

Proving you never can tell what’s going to happen next when you’re out in Royal Oak, a group of people wearing pirate costumes came in and sat at the counter. They put their pirate coats and hats on the adjacent seats. Was there a pagan holiday? I finally decided maybe they had come from a different bar where they were hawking free shots of Captain Morgan’s rum. Now that shot, I would have done. “Rum. The least wretched substance on earth.” Not nearly as tasty as a famous Comet Burgers chocolate milkshake, though.

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti

  1. Lisa J. says:

    Thanks so much for coming in!!! We love having new people who come and discover that we do have a little something for everyone and that we are a great neighborhood bar to hang out in. Sometimes people have a hard time finding us because we are on the other side of the tracks. Hope you can come in and try D’Amato’s, our restaurant next door sometime soon.

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