Best Dive Bar with a Cocktail Menu

The Painted Lady

2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991

Hamtramck's Painted Lady bar has lived a long and charmed life. They've poured beer there since the dawn of the 20th century, and the spot attained local fame as a divey punk club named Lili's for more than 30 years. It's still much the same, serving cheap draft beers and shots of jezynowka brandy, and you'll probably want to dress down and not wear your Sunday best. That said, mirthful owner Andrew Dow has definitely improved the quality of hooch behind the bar, putting a bit more effort into the joint's offerings. There's no cognac, but many varieties of vodka, gin and bourbon grace the bar, as well as some local ingredients, such as Perkins' Pickles and brine. But fear not, boozehounds, other than that, it's pretty much like walking into a bar 10 years ago, starring a cast of drinkers, locals and the occasional alt-weekly journo or two.

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