Best Of 2018

Best Karaoke Bar
Jason Leinart

4654 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-406-4043;

When you hear “Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to/ Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama,” then it is likely that the Beach Boys have successfully transported you to Kokomo — a place where all your troubles are left upon the shore. Mutiny Bar in Southwest Detroit might be the new kid on the block, but it is the closest damn thing to a tropical getaway the city has got. The kitschy tiki decor is just the tip of the volcano, as the exotic drinks (a la the Scorpion Bowl) at dive-bar prices and laid-back atmosphere set the perfect stage for frills-free karaoke with hostess Shantasy Island. Not only does she come with a stacked 28,000 song catalogue to choose from each Thursday night, but she’s got a set of killer pipes to drown even the most insufferable “Margaritaville” renditions. “Hosting karaoke in a tropical environment is like a paradise,” Shantasy says. “Everyone relaxes a bit more and let’s their freak flag fly.” Not sure what to sing? Don’t sweat it. After all, you’re on island time. —Jerilyn Jordan

Bars and Clubs

Bars and Clubs
Best Bar (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti)
2019 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor; 734-369-2990;
Best Bar (Detroit)
225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-736-5533;
Best Bar (Suburbs)
215 West Fifth St., Royal Oak; 248-629 9423;
Best Bar for Classic Cocktails
1218 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-657-9177;
Best Beer Selection
Various locations;
Best Bottle Service
535 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-420-1990;
261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-327-0575;
1815 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-298-6875;
Best Day Drinking

3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830

How much history can you cram under one roof? The Old Miami would seem to present a challenge of that sort, crammed with 50 years’ worth of memorabilia, much of it from the Vietnam War era, especially behind the bar. The sun casts a warm glow across it, with its gleaming elephant heads, their trunks holding the brass bar rail. But more inviting is the central room, with its pool table, several couches, and pinball machines. It’s all under a beautiful canopy of white tin, with just one flatscreen TV to break the illusion that it’s the 1980s. And that’s just the inside. There’s a paradise out back, with a whole other stage for outdoor entertainment, as well as outdoor seating around a cozy fire pit that provides some warmth on the chilly night. If you’re from the old days of the Cass Corridor, you know just how wonderful a sunny day of backyard boozing can be here. But it’s still fun to watch the Quicken newbies walk into the back yard for the first time, make their “discovery,” and text their friends in disbelief. —Michael Jackman