Raise the Bar: Danny's Irish Pub has been a Ferndale mainstay for over 30 years

Nestled on bustling Woodward Avenue in downtown Ferndale is Danny's Irish Pub. A mainstay in the community for over 30 years with a loyal following of longtime regulars, Danny's is a refreshingly straightforward neighborhood hangout. It's rather small and dark save for soft illumination from the green lights surrounding the ceiling, Irish pride and various other interesting flair adorning the walls and bar, and a couple pinball machines tucked away toward the back. The thing that sticks out the most about Danny's is its solid identity.

"We want to stay who we are, and try not to be like anyone else." said Michele Crimi, our bartender.

If you came to sip fancy cocktails in a swanky lounge or snob around with a glass of wine, this isn't the place, and that's what makes Danny's so great. There's no pretension here — you get what you get, and that's pretty cool. While its business seems to be mostly local, Danny's appears by no means "exclusive." Whether you're of the diehard regular crowd or a newcomer, you're treated with the same amount of respect and welcome, and as long as you keep it real you'll make fast friends with both the patrons and the staff. Danny's has this great "come as you are" vibe that makes it no surprise that this dive has been going strong for three decades, earned the return business of many loyal fans, and piqued the interest of first-timers, all without having to change a thing.

As far as drinks, Danny's is a "beer and shot" kind of place. No bells and whistles, and as one of the wall signs says "Our house wine is Jagermeister." Everything is reasonable, with all beers starting at just $2.25, the most expensive being a 20-ounce glass of Guinness at $5.25. You can get a combo PBR and shot of Jameson for less than $5. They stock the usual big-name brews, but also sport local stuff like Stroh's. If you're in the mood for something extra, stop in for Sunday brunch and a handmade Bloody Mary. There's a $10 minimum on credit card purchases, and the cheap prices can make that a bit of a difficult goal to reach. Your best bet is just to bring cash.

The food is as straightforward as everything else, with the menu being mildly limited consisting of classic American bar fare such as burgers and sandwiches, and appetizers like French fries and wings. The Sunday brunch menu is posted by the end of the week on the Danny's Facebook page, usually consisting of the usual things like French toast, egg dishes, and a bacon side. There's also free popcorn from the machine near the game room, if you're so inclined. Danny's is just a straight-up bar — if you didn't come to hang out and throw back a cold one, why did you come?

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