Detroit is a blues, hip-hop, jazz, rock and techno city that has never lacked musical diversity. Although many music venues have closed over the years, new ones have been opened and some of the old ones re-opened to cater for the massive music diversity and talent in this city. Here is a list of most iconic music bars.
Detroit’s most iconic music bars:
1. Cliff Bell’s – 2030 Park Ave
This cocktail bar and entertainment joint that is designed with dramatic art décor was established in 1935 but closed down in the 80s and later reopened in 2006. Cliff Bell’s is a historic gem and the most traversed jazz club in Detroit.
2. Bakers Keyboard Lounge – 20510 Livernois Ave
Bakers Keyboard Lounge is an internationally recognized music bar that was opened in 1939. It’s a legendary lounge that has hosted musicians such as Miles Davis, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Louise Armstrong among others.
3. The Raven Lounge – 5145 Chene St
The Raven Lounge is rumored to be one of the continuously operating bars in Detroit. Although it is located in an entirely sketchy path, it’s a worth seeking music venue that plays authentic blues and serves soul food.
4. TV Lounge – 2548 Grand River Ave
It’s a favorite live electronic/ techno music bar that sometimes plays hip-hop. Detroit is the birthplace of techno music; TV Lounge has hosted many of this genre’s forefathers including Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig.
5. Harpos – 14238 Harper Ave
Harpos is regarded as Detroit’s metal bar. This theatre turned to rock music venue is located in an almost inaccessible neighborhood, and it has hosted the likes of James Dio, Pantera, GWAR, Iron Maiden, and Esham.
6. The Shelter- 431 E Congress St
The Shelter is found in the basement of the famous St Andrews hall where Eminem choked during one his first gigs. This bar is known for hosting major acts such as Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, etc. before they rose to stardom. It is a prominent and funky basement bar known to play rock, techno, and hip-hop.
7. Smalls – 10339 Conant St
Smalls is an unrefined and packed bar with palpable energy where revelers commonly wear all black clothing and band t-shirts. It’s a unique bar where you can earn an extra point for just wearing a leather jacket!
This famous rock club has attracted renowned artists such as Fu Manchu, Jello Biafra, Melvins, Mark Lanegan among others.
8. I-Rock Nightclub – 6350 Harper Ave
It’s just one mile away from Harpos. I-Rock Nightclub is a renowned music bar in Detroit, and it has hosted music acts like Corey Feldman, Black Sabbath, ICP, Patti Smith Group and Mercyful Fate.
9. Old Miami – 3930 Cass Ave
Old Miami was regarded as a haven for Vietnam War veterans. The music bar which was established in 1975 is commonly known as “The CBGB of the mid-west” because of its music history
Depending on the day, this bar plays hip-hop, rock to a full raving vibe. Old Miami music bar has one of the best outdoor sitting arrangement in the city. Almost every known artist from Detroit has performed here including Eminem, the Supremes, Four Tops, Smokey Robison, etc.
10. Leland City Club – 400 Bagley St
Established in the early 1990s, Leland is termed as the most famous industrial nightclub in Detroit. It is a well-known after-hours music bar as it normally starts to swell late in the evening.
11. Stonehouse – 19803 Ralston St
Thought to be one of the oldest bars found in Michigan. Stonehouse is rumored to have been a popular hangout for many Prohibition-Era gangsters in Detroit. The music bar is well known to continuously play blues.