On the patio at Northern Lights Lounge 

Just off the Lodge Freeway, smooshed between a parking garage and a block of tall buildings, is a little bar that looks pretty inconspicuous on the exterior, save for a funky sign that reads: Northern Lights Lounge.

Frequenters of this New Center bar know there’s nothing inconspicuous about this place. Northern Lights is a stylish bar and restaurant that plays host to local bands, fashion shows, and other Detroit-centric events. It’s known for its cool aesthetic and that famous fainting couch in the ladies room.

But now that summer is upon us, not everyone wants to sit inside a dark bar, no matter how gorgeously decorated it may be. We only get so many warms days a year, after all. Of course, Northern Lights Lounge has an answer for those who want to quaff a strong gin martini made by the bar staff’s able hands while also enjoying this fleeting season.

That answer sits adjacent to the bar, guarded by a tall iron gate.

Considering the bar’s interior, it’s no wonder then the patio is just as beautifully outfitted. The manicured alfresco dining area features a floor of red brick pavers, a couple young maple trees, and ample seating.

Umbrellas arch over large and small tables, creating a canopy to shade diners and drinkers, and potted plants add a lush, homey feeling. It’s the sort of place you can start drinking after work and continue until last call.

The full bar and kitchen menu is available on the patio, and the staff is attentive and friendly. We suggest starting with an appetizer and a well drink during happy hour, which runs weekdays from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m., and then work toward bigger meals and harder-hitting drinks. The bar hosts live entertainment seven days a week, so you really can turn an after-work cocktail info a full evening out.

If you fall as hard in love with Northern Lights Lounge’s patio as we have, you can rent it out for a special occasion, with several different options for catering. 

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