It’s crazy that the Ark started as just a coffee shop that gave students in Ann Arbor an opportunity to come together and chill out. But the quaint spot has now become a place that not only draws students from all over the state, but also great musical artists who come to make a mark on the venerated establishment. Handled by a board of directors and a boatload of volunteers, the Ark plans on keeping its doors open for another 47 years, accepting those who want to join its ranks. I mean, c’mon, Lisa Loeb performed there. That alone should allow the Ark to win the category of Best Folk Venue, every year.
Do you want hot male or female bartenders for your party? Perhaps you want a stripper or two for a bachelor party, or maybe you want somebody on hand who will get your party started. Whatever you need, Premier Entertainment has the body to put a smile on your face. You guys decided that, of all the adult entertainment agencies in town, you like this one best.
Brown’s third album highlights exactly why Danny Brown fans love Danny Brown, and why everybody else should love Danny Brown. Uniquely sharp and sassy, the man is a huge talent. Blow job controversy aside (although let’s face it, that was kinda funny), this year has seen Brown enhance his public profile massively. Not even a single with the Insane Clown Posse could damage his blossoming rep, and Old was the icing on the cake.
You know you’re doing something right when dozens of local retailers are carrying your Bloody Mary mix in their stores. Vivio’s doesn’t play around when it comes to their lauded cocktail, mixed with premium vodka and stirred with a dill pickle spear. It’s something great to be known for, along with tasty burgers and variety of pizzas. And the flavorsome drink doesn’t just have to be an early afternoon hangover cure, head to Vivio’s at night and enjoy it with some of their other specials.
Ann Arbor’s Ravens Club has the sort of cocktail menu that you can throw a dart at and inadvertently select something impressively tasty. The “Let it Bleed,” for example, contains blood orange juice and egg whites, while the “Thyme Collins” offers a twist to a classic by adding TRC thyme syrup. Sometimes, it pays to be adventurous.
The Sugar House is a pre-Prohibition-style joint tucked somewhat inconspicuously next to that one barbecue joint in Corktown. While there, you might hear a New Orleans jazz duo while you enjoy a couple of well-crafted sazeracs or some other adventurous drink that gets lit on fire before being poured. Riding the success of the classic cocktail trend, Detroit’s Sugar House is atmospheric and attractive.
Andrea Bonaventura, Desmond Oliver, and the rest of the staff at the New Dodge in Hamtramck will be delighted to pour you a long, hard shot of something strong and then shoot the shit with you while you down it. Then repeat. The New Dodge is a killer bar with a relaxed vibe, tall drinks and awesome live music on the weekends. No fuss and no frills, just that wonderful, old-fashioned dive bar atmosphere.
What do you need from a bar when you want to hook up with someone? Good music that isn’t too loud to allow for conversation, a friendly bartender who is perceptive enough to know when to give you some space, a plethora of singles, and some semi-private tables in dark corners? The Black Lotus has all of this, so go forth and multiply. If you’re not looking for a special someone, the Monday night open mic is very popular, and a regular haunt for talent like Nadir.
Maybe in the ’80s, having a bikini-clad boob poking you in the ear while you’re interviewing a band was normal. Nowadays, it’s a little disconcerting. Just fucking weird, really. Especially at this pseudo-yacht club in Livonia, of all places. There’s a vibe of tension in the air too, if you walk in and aren’t a regular. Still, the place has to be experienced, at least once. It’s like something out of a John Waters movie.
The Loving Touch has grown into one of the most happening rooms on the music scene thanks to some tremendous shows (many of them free), very cool bar staff and an overall unique and friendly vibe. The bands are right there in your face, and that adds to the ambience. When it’s all done, your ending is still happy, just in a different way. The fact that they have some spacey pool tables only helps the atmosphere, and gives you something to do between bands or in the afternoon.
Commander Cody, Mitch Ryder, Jimmy McCarty — the stage at Callahan’s has them all fairly regularly. If a band’s name is synonymous with history, heritage and nostalgia, then this place will welcome it with open arms. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. On the contrary, Detroit music lovers appreciate the past as much as the present and will always love and respect old heroes. Callahan’s isn’t so much a rest home as that big, final hurrah!