Why Centaur's PJ Thomas can't wait for the craft cocktail trend to die

PJ Thomas cut his teeth working in suburban bars while in his 20s, but for more than eight years he's been managing Foxtown's Centaur, a classy Art Deco bar not far from Comerica Park. While the bar specializes in martinis (they make up the total of their featured drinks list) bartenders can make just about any cocktail. In fact, Thomas says they have one of the best liquor selections in downtown Detroit.

Thomas makes one thing very clear – Centaur is not a craft bar and it never will be. Actually, he says he can't wait for the trend to die. "I hate the word 'mixologist'," he says. "It's just so pretentious."

Instead, Thomas and his crew focus on making great drinks quickly because of their high volume of customers. But that doesn't mean they don't get creative. Their drink menu changes one or two times a year and Thomas says the entire staff has a say in those changes. Right now their martinis are mostly warm, wintry flavors like the Espresso that Thomas whipped up for us last week. —

Drink Recipe:


1 ounce Espresso vodka
Half ounce coffee liqueur
Splash of Baileys
2 ounces espresso

Shake ingredients together in mixer and pour into a martini glass.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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