Don’t rush to the concert, Detroit offers up pre-show fun
usic-loving Windsorites are blessed to be sitting smack next to one of the best centres for music in North America: Detroit.
Some of the best touring bands in the world make frequent stops there, playing at venues like St. Andrews Hall and the Fillmore downtown, and the Majestic Theatre complex in Midtown.
But why go to Detroit just to see the show when you can make a night of it? Waiting on the other side of the border are some great restaurants—and a complete lack of liquor control laws.
On March 8, Lance staff writer H.G. Watson and editor-in-chief Natasha Marar ventured into Detroit to see Mercury prize winners Gomez and Juno nominated band Hey Rosetta!, and sampled some of the best pre-show food and fun for offer in the Motor City.
Grab a drink at Jacoby’s (624 Brush St.), right around the corner from St. Andrew’s Hall and the Shelter. Walking in feels like time warping to a bar in the 1950’s. Its warm wood interior has some amazing examples of tin ceilings and counters. The beer selection, however, is entirely modern and extensive. Jacoby’s has several micro-brewed beers on tap, and their bottle beer list goes on for three pages.
Don’t let Pappy’s (517 Monroe St. in Greektown) generic sports bar décor fool you; the drinks are plentiful, cheap, and will probably have you under the table before you make it to the show. We tried a huge 22-ounce Long Island Iced Tea while we were there. The “iced tea” part of it is more in name then in reality; the drink feels like it is 99 per cent booze.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (508 Monroe St.) is a popular chain throughout the United States, but the Detroit location in Greektown is a particularly beautiful spot. Surrounded by giant windows, the fast food joint has a retro feel and makes for excellent people watching. The burgers are huge and delicious. For those who want to try something else, Five Guys has a mean grilled cheese on the menu and vegetarian sandwich options.
Not for the faint of heart is a Detroit staple— the Coney Island hot dog. This chilidog is piled sky high with onions, relish and the aforementioned spicy chili.
There are two restaurants to choose from, American Coney Island (114 West Lafayette Boulevard) and Lafayette Coney Island (118 West Lafayette Blvd.). The two used to be one restaurant until the owners had a falling out, and now the two battle it out for chilidog supremacy. The better dog is all about personal preference, but the Lance staff prefers Lafayette, which uses more flavourful ingredients.
Last but not least, remember that there is no reason to drink and drive to Detroit. The Transit Windsor tunnel bus leaves Windsor’s downtown terminal every half-hour (every 20 minutes at peak times), and if you ask the bus driver (nicely) they will drop you off right at the door at some of the music venues on their route. The last bus leaves Rosa Parks terminal at 1:03 a.m. and gets you back to Windsor at about 1:15 a.m., leaving plenty of time to finish the night off with more music at Phog Lounge.