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Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

August 23, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo: Amelia Kanan. Nancy Whiskey is the place to be on Sunday nights.

Photo: Amelia Kanan. Nancy Whiskey is the place to be on Sunday nights.

Corktown has the distinguished honor of being Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. Even with the steady influx of new residents calling this locale home, the historic Corktown and the nightlife and bars that surround it have managed to retain their old neighborhood charm. Some drinking establishments here have been around for almost 100 years and have cultivated a steadfast clientele of loyal regulars. Even some of the newly established bars have been able to cultivate the atmosphere where everybody knows your name––except this is Detroit, not Boston, so don’t expect anyone to shout “Norm” upon your arrival; chances are your name isn’t Norm anyway.

pjs lager house1 Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: pjslagerhouse.com)

PJ’s Lager House
1254 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-4668
www.pjslagerhouse.com

Click here for a schedule of events

PJ’s Lager House has been one of the foundations of the Corktown community since 1914. The vibe here is always friendly, usually in part from the staff and PJ himself, or the dogs that can be seen lying around. Even the patrons help to make Lager House a favorite neighborhood destination. PJ can often be found hanging around, spewing good humor  and cheer, and is always ready to strike up conversation. You will be hard-pressed to find an owner who is so invloved in his establishment and dedicated to the local scene. He’ll be beyond willing to show you the secret password opening in the basement door from the old Prohibition days. This is also known as a spot to catch some talent on the stage. The exceptionally curated list of musicians who perform offers a diverse range of musical styles that never disappoint, and there is a mix of both local and buzz-worthy national acts who stop by. PJ’s has always been in tune with the local community, and therefore it continues to emerge as one of the best places around Corktown.

caseys fb Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: facebook.com)

Casey’s Pub
1830 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 963-2440
www.facebook.com/caseyspub

Casey’s Pub is the quintessential neighborhood bar and has been a fixture of Corktown for more than 30 years. The friendly staff and customers create the gracious atmosphere Casey’s is known for. When you step inside, you get the feeling as though everyone seated at the bar has been coming for years, and it’s very possible that they have––you might just become a regular yourself after you have a seat. Order a burger, select a song from the jukebox and strike up a conversation with another patron. By the time you are ready to settle your tab, you will feel as though you are old friends with the rest of the bar goers.

st ceces fb Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: facebook.com)

St. Cece’s Pub
1426 Bagley St.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-2121
www.saintceces.com

One of the latest additions to the Corktown neighborhood, St. Cece’s Pub has the potential to be one of the greats if it continues at the rate at which it entered onto the nightlife scene. Named after the “Patron Saint of Whiskey,” Cece’s cozy atmosphere is inviting and beyond comfortable. Keep an eye out for the owners––two sisters and a brother––when they make the rounds to chat as people enjoy their cocktails. The bar offers unusual drink specialties such as gin infused with hibiscus. St. Cece’s Pub offers its guests an extreme amount of quirky, yet thoughtful touches to keep them entertained. Musicians are scheduled to perform on different evenings; a musician/pie-maker even became entertainment once. Patrons will find a flurry of activities to participate in, including standard bar games like ping pong, cards and Scrabble, and some not-so-common pastimes like hypnosis and tarot card readings.

nancy whiskey fb Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: facebook.com)

Nancy Whiskey
2644 Harrison St.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-4247
www.nancywhiskeydetroit.com

Nancy Whiskey is a true neighborhood bar. Even if you haven’t been frequenting this establishment for years, you will feel as though you have when you visit. People are made to feel welcome almost immediately, and the bar staff brings informative banter to this Corktown classic. Both drinks and charm flow readily from the bar and a jukebox is made available to patrons to spin selections for free until the midnight hour. Nancy Whiskey hosts live blues on weekends and an open mic night on Thursdays. There is a newly appointed outdoor area that extends the space and adds an extra place to enjoy yourself. As an added bonus, sometimes you can catch Nancy herself hanging out with her clientele.

corktown tavern fb Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: facebook.com)

Corktown Tavern
1716 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 964-5103
www.corktowntavern.com

Corktown Tavern has a great, dedicated staff that caters to a diverse crowd. With the lively patrons who frequent this bar, it is virtually impossible to not feel welcome. Whether you hang out at the upstairs bar or the downstairs one, you will find everyone having a good time. The eclectic crowd is friendly and keeps the place interesting. Corktown Tavern features bands and DJs performing weekly. In addition to the musical acts who perform, there is a jukebox stocked with music as well as a pinball machine to keep boredom at bay.

ljsfb Top Neighborhood Bars In Detroit: Corktown

(credit: facebook.com)

LJ’s Lounge
2114 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-0013
www.myspace.com/ljslounge

LJ’s Lounge is the essence of a neighborhood bar. The friendly staff will take the edge off after you settle in for a drink. If you are lucky, you may get to hear the bartender spin yarns about the city. This is a quintessential 70s lounge that plays host to a cast of bar characters that make this establishment a worthwhile place to visit. LJ’s features elements such as a jukebox, a fish tank and a pool table for those who wish to experience some competitive fun.

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Nicole Wrona has been on the music scene since she was fourteen- standing in line to score tickets to the latest show. After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, she began working with a diverse range of musicians. She currently resides in Detroit. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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