When it comes to a good party, the east side of Detroit might not be the first place to cross your mind. You probably have heard about hot bar districts in Corktown, Midtown, Ferndale, Royal Oak, or other places. But nestled on the eastern Detroit border are a set of establishments that can provide an amazing time, if you know where to go.
On Detroit’s east side you will find a friendly mix of clientele from the Pointes and Detroit. The list we’ve put together here offers a solid night out that won’t break the bank. All of these places are also close to each other, which is convenient. Without further ado, here’s how we got epic on the east side.
This establishment has a half century under it’s belt. To stay around for 50 years, you must be doing something right. Don’t let its Grosse Pointe address fool you, as this is a bar for every man (and woman). If you love hockey or any game is on, it’s easy to end your trip here. But after having your fill of their tasty burgers and checking out the memorabilia that harkens back to the old Olympia stadium, it’ll be time to go to our next stop. – 15300 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230 – Facebook
Ye Olde Tap Room
Beer, bier, and more piwo. 280+ beers, a couple dozen single malt scotch selections, and the world of beer at your barstool. This place started in 1916 and lived as a blind pig at the end of the trolley tracks. Today you can get some the most unique brews from around Michigan and the world in a neighborhood bar atmosphere. No pretension here, just good times, pew benches that line the back walls, and regulars who know that maybe they don’t need to leave the neighborhood, the world’s beers will come to them. They have specials, too. – 14915 Charlevoix, Detroit, MI, 48215 – Website
Atwater In The Park
This former church is a holy place if you love Atwater Beer. An even farther east side version of their core location near the Detroit riverfront, there’s a full menu, interesting surroundings and of course, the fact that you’re drinking in a former church (the church has been de-sanctified, but the architecture and stained glass windows remain). It’s been mentioned in a bunch of publications, and it’s more than worth stopping in to see what the hub-bub is all about. – 1175 Lakepointe, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan – Website
My Dad’s Bar
This is a must for any dive bar aficionado. The staff is super friendly (say hi to Chelsea!), the drinks well poured and the jukebox finely curated. Although it’s only a few years old, it feels like the place has been there forever. It’s full of young people excited about exploring the city and is “the” local watering hole for many in the neighborhood. It’s amazingness is self explanatory to any who have visited. – 14911 Kercheval, Detroit, MI 48215 – Facebook
We may have saved the best for last, especially if you like dive bars. Being that you’re still alive for this stop after this epic east side march, you deserve kudos. You’re in for a treat. The bartender will remember your name just after a couple of trips (even if you don’t remember his), the drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is super Detroit-y (yes, we know a made up word) – and the location of this bar actually used to be a in a short-lived historical city named Fairview). Down the street, generations ago, Henry Ford raced his Model T at the Grosse Pointe car racing track (right by where Riverbend plaza is now). Hidden gem for this place is the yard out back, especially in warmer months. – 14716 Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48215 – Facebook
So there you go. Five bars for a fun foray to the east side. The east side harbors many storied places, probably too many for one night. Where should we go next?
Editor’s Note: Updated to reflect the 50th Anniversary of Marge’s.