It really seems like all of us enjoy dive bars. What can you say, there is something dirty, gritty and interesting about old dilapidated places filled with History and Attitude. The first round was over with the lady’s being the winners. They always seem to be a little bit behind when it comes to leaving on time as tonight would be no different! We turned left onto Canfield and headed out one of our favorite ways west on Buchanan street for tonight’s first stop, The ‘Freer Bar’ out on the fringes of Michigan Ave.
As we headed out west I made it up a bit and trusted my feelings as a guide to our destination. As we turned right on Freer heading North to Michigan Ave we came across/almost drove my bike right on into the Corner Pocket Lounge. You won’t find it on Google if you search bars of Detroit and up till now none of us knew of its existence. Real nice owners greeted us on in and out to the great patio were bikes and babes lounged-inn. Yup, next move was for PBR’s then good talk and an even better pool game in which Dan was beaten soundly by Val! Go girrrlll. People were a little disappointed that this place didn’t have the gritty dirt which some seem to enjoy more than others. The owner said we should just past right on by the Freer Bar on our way out, because the place could be a little ruff and sometimes people fight. When Dan and me first discovered this place an old biker called me names and challenged me to a fight? The girls voted to pass and we did just that on our bikes, heading north over I-94 on Cecil Avenue.
We bombed up Cecil, swizzled around a bit, making our way north onto Tireman for a quick sprint to the magnificent English Tudor revival once Masonic ‘Gate House’ situated in the NW corner of Grand Boulevard and Grand River. Tucked away behind the Greenery is a mansion that looks like it belongs in Grosse Pointe or Bloomfield hills. It reminds me of the Wabeek Mansion the once James Couzens Estate. The 6 pointes star chimneys are a spot on match. I wondered again if this too was Khans’ work? Grand Boulevard is always fun we slowed and stopped for a moment in front of the Mowtown Museum, for which many including myself have never been? Then a classic turn left on Second on upto Owen Street.
With our right turn onto Owen all entered on into a fractional pocket of an old Neighborhood that is nestled in-between Oakland Ave and I-75. If you look closely on a map you can see 2-3 of the streets west of 75 are actually in the city of Hamtramck and not Detroit. With a right onto Caniff we were up and over the Freeway heading east to Brombach Street. A right and left wrong way (I really hate when this happens but none of us had ever been…..),onto Yemans. We soon found ourselves at the Whiskey Jar. But before our tail takes you there I would be remiss if I did not make mention, actually how many people were out with their family’s on the porches, sidewalks/streets, all friendly saying Hi as we came and passed. I think good community lives here. It seemed to me that all races and religions have abandoned judgment and found the same page of harmony in Hamtramck. I wish the middle east could do the same.
We locked the bikes out front and strode into the local Polish Dive Bar with attitude. Instantly I liked this place. Big guys eyes upon us searching for what we might have brought in with us? Nothing but a thirst for PBR”s from our 9 mile run. Outside we went and settled into a cool side patio area picnic table place where we all relaxed. 50 different discussions ensued, I think a may have joined in on a few but was more interested in Beer and Breathing this time.
Saddling up for our next dash down Lumpkin Street thanks to Dan we finally made our way onto Russell. It was Russell that at night, is wide open and we all flew on into like a Comet to the Comet Bar. This was supposed to be a reel Highlight on the highlight reel created in My mind from memories, but as we walked in the place it was completely changed from what I remembered. Asking why? The bar keep informed of the owner exchange four years ago and the once great, ‘Vietnam influenced carnival lit dusty dive attraction had been paneled into a place that serves all kinds of Pie! Cool not a Dive at all. Well needless to say everyone Dug in. Including Gary who seemed to enjoy having his nose into some delicious pie once again. Then there is always the sprint back up to Motor City Brewery, I mean it really wouldn’t be a bike ride without that last leg.
Bike Detroit! James A. Meyers bike explorer