Raise the Bar: CJ Barrymore’s is more than a beer-slinging arcade

21750 Hall Rd., Clinton Township; 586-469-2800; cjbarymores.com

Open: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday

CJ Barrymore's isn't the typical sort of watering hole that you'll find profiled in Raise the Bar. Generally we cover dives, longstanding sports bars, and even, occasionally, something a little higher end. CJ Barrymore's doesn't quite fit into any of those categories.

Billed as a "family entertainment center," manager John Myers says there is something for everyone at CJ Barrymore's, which certainly isn't typical for a bar. The indoor and outdoor amusement park offers beer and pizza, sure, but there's also an arcade with over 120 games, a bowling alley, bumper boats, batting cages, a giant bungee, a golf dome, rock climbing, and more. With 25 acres of land to work with, it's no wonder they're packing so many attractions.

Each year CJ, Barrymore's grows, in fact. Myers says in the past three years the arcade has undergone an expansion and bumper cars were added.

"Every year we do something new," says Myers. "We're always adding new games and adding to the experience."

While Myers wouldn't let any details slip, he noted that something big is in the works for their next new addition. Something really, really big.

Opened in 1974, the space has long been a destination for not only kids and families, but adults looking to have a good time. Their menu includes homemade pizzas, nachos, hot dogs, wings, and salads, which is great for those under 21, but perhaps more importantly they offer beer, wine, and cocktails.

An enormous bottle list includes names like Budweiser, Coors, Labatt, Molson, Blue Moon, Guinness, and Red Stripe along with beers from Michigan brewers like Rochester Mills and Bell's. Selections are fewer on tap, but their draft list still includes the basics (like Bud) as well as a selection from Bell's.

"There's really, really something for the whole family," says Myers. "We have something for everyone. It's a destination right on Hall Road. You can come get lost for hours."

Getting lost inside (or outside) CJ Barrymore's is no joke. You can hit a mini golf course, play laser tag, or do some rock climbing. You could spend a day here and still have attractions left to hit. And, as we stated before, the place is getting bigger every year.

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