Best Of 2014

Best Happy Hour for Drinks in Oakland County; Best Drinking Spot for Service Industry Staff; Best Bar for a Classic Cocktail in Oakland County; Best Male Bartender: Shane McGrath at the Oakland; 201 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-291-5295; theoaklandferndale.com

While seating at the Oakland in Ferndale is strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, the atmosphere is down-to-earth and not at all elite. While early 1900s blues and mid-century jazz play in the background, the staff, usually including the popular and award-showered Shane McGrath, will make you feel welcome. Take in a couple of classic cocktails and allow yourself to sink into your seat a little, and you’ll feel like you’re in another, simpler time. It’s not an unpleasant sensation.