How to Spend an Evening in Detroit

Modified: December 16, 2022 | Story by Stephanie Angelyn Casola | Photos by Gold Cash Gold, Detroit City Distillery, Sugar House

Detroit draws businesses and conference events like a magnet these days. While work hours may be spent in meetings, evenings remain open to explore the Motor City. With so many recent accolades to its credit, Detroit may be among the most welcoming cities for visitors.

We’ve got an insider tips on the best ways to make the most of an evening or two in Detroit.


Nightlife in Detroit

Happy Hour in Detroit

Break out of work mode and you’ll find just the spot to order up happy hour specials that can kick off a night on the town.

  • The Ghost Bar at The Whitney, a historic – and notoriously haunted – Detroit mansion is the setting for classic cocktails and upscale happy hour snacks.
  • Relax into a seat at Mudgie’s for some of the city’s best soups, sandwiches or go for a glass of wine.
  • Order sliders at equestrian-themed Green Dot Stables. You won’t regret it.
  • Hit up newcomer, Parc, located right in the city center, and impress your co-workers with its decadent design and delicious happy hour dishes.


Sip Serious Cocktail Culture

Detroiters are serious about nightlife. It may never be more evident than it is at some of the finest cocktail lounges and restaurants in town.

  • Newcomers like The Keep, Bad Luck Bar and restaurants with serious bar programs like Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, Standby, Gold Cash Gold and Grey Ghost keep guests delighted by inventive drinks.
  • Distilleries like Two James Spirits and Detroit City Distillery muddle Michigan-made ingredients into locally-loved cocktails too.
  • A cocktail tradition that introduced cutting edge craft cocktails like Ferndale’s The Oakland Art Novelty Company and Detroit’s Sugar House continues.

Gold Cash Gold Bar

Live Music and More

Skip out of the late meeting or trade your suit for something more casual and you’ll find some of the best music in the city.

  • Cliff Bell’s offers big band chic in a relaxing setting.
  • On Friday nights, the Detroit Institute of Arts stays open late and spotlights world music and art demonstrations.
  • The new stage at Ferndale’s Otus Supply sounds phenomenal and its menu means business.
  • Check out a new band – or old favorite – at El Club, Marble Bar or UFO Factory.
  • Take in a band and try your hand at feather bowling at Cadieux Cafe, a true Detroit establishment.


Movie Night

When the weather just won’t cooperate, a movie might do the trick.

  • Cinema Detroit and the Redford Theater offer out of the ordinary film fan experiences, whether you seek out rare independents or can’t get enough of classics.
  • Come summer, be on the lookout for outdoor movies in the park at Campus Martius and at New Center Park. It’s the perfect way to unwind.

Only in Detroit

  • Take in a friendly game at The Fowling Warehouse.
  • Explore the Michigan beer scene from a pedal pub with Handlebar Detroit.
  • Rent a bike at Wheelhouse Detroit and ride along the Dequindre Cut, or cut in and join Detroit’s enormously popular Slow Roll Monday nights at 6 p.m.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    The Whitney
    4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  2. 2
    Mudgie’s Deli & Wine Shop
    1413 Brooklyn St., Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    Green Dot Stables
    2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48216
  4. 4
    Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
    15 E. Kirby St., Suite D, Detroit, MI 48202
  5. 5
    Two James Spirits
    2445 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  6. 6
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  7. 7
    Cliff Bell's
    2030 Park Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  8. 8
    Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  9. 9
    Wheelhouse Detroit - Rivertown
    1340 E. Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207