Esquire Magazine names Detroit "Bar City of the Year"

Esquire Magazine has named Detroit the "Bar City of the Year" in its June/July issue, on newsstands now. (Heck, we could have told you that.) The three-page article — part of a larger "Best Bars in America" feature in the issue — has author David Wondrich traveling on both sides of Eight Mile, exploring bars both divey and upscale (though they skipped out on Hamtramck, famous for hosting more bars per capita than most cities).

The article is a bit of a backhanded compliment, though, with its particular fixation on Detroit's blight. We know it's the elephant in the room, but the story opens with the observation that "Detroit doesn't wait to get unsettling" and never goes very far without returning to that theme. Perhaps they should have sent someone who's a bit more at ease in Detroit. Also, anyone who trusts the article's provided map probably will be just shocked by the sight of abandoned buildings as the author, as it appears they've located the Old Miami and the Bronx much more north on Woodward than they actually are.

Nevertheless, the author heaps well-deserved kudos to plenty of Detroit watering holes, giving shout-outs to Grand Trunk Pub, Greenwich Time, the Old Miami, PJ's Lager House, Cliff Bell's, the Town Pump Tavern, Redcoat Tavern, Vinsetta Garage, Oakland Art Novelty Company, Sugar House, the Bronx Bar, and Mercury Burger Bar. And though it ends with the obligatory musing over the ruins of Michigan Central Station, Wondrich notes "Detroit exteriors may be forbidding, but its interiors are anything but."

Look for it on newsstands now, or check out the digital edition. The article is not yet available on Esquire's website.

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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