Going Beyond Your Basic “Dive”

The Bronx Bar in Detroit is not your average “dive.” Its bright neon signage and simple facade are nothing out of the ordinary, but the interior tells a different story.

Since its opening in 1938, this spot has been a classic hangout for Detroiters. In 2001, owner Paul Howard stepped in and replaced the tired-looking decor with an eclectic mix of standard tables, high-tops and couches.

While the Bronx Bar still retains its hardcore vibe, it has without a doubt become one of the most tempting joints to have a drink and a bite to eat in Midtown.

Strings of twinkling Christmas lights and colorful hanging lamps dangle from the ceiling, casting a warm glow across the wooden bar and surrounding tables.

The bar is stocked full of liquor, but don’t expect a craft cocktail menu. The bartenders like to keep it simple. Better yet, well drinks are only $3.50 and call drinks are just a dollar more.

Beers are by far its true claim to fame and also come cheap. The beer list and the occasional snarky quip are scrawled across two large chalkboards hanging across from the bar.

Adjacent to the bar, the cooks flip burgers and man the fryer with ease. Manager and menu creator Paul Flis will tell you the food is almost more popular than the drinks these days.

“We’ve always been known to have a decent burger,” he says.

Flis himself is the mastermind behind the current menu, which consists of fresh burgers, sandwiches on fluffy white bread and a smattering of fried snacks. The perfectly crisped onion rings and deep-fried portobello mushrooms slices are the stars of the show.

To appeal to veggie lovers, Flis invented a hearty black bean patty topped with fresh avocado. The Clean Veggie Machine is equally tasty, loaded with seasoned cucumbers, tomatoes, baby spinach and provolone.

The kitchen stays open until midnight, and the music continues to flow through the speakers until 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Patrons can even provide input with the music genre — The Bronx Bar has been forever famous for its jukeboxes in the back end.

With its no-frills reputation, there’s no better place for a stiff drink and above-average bar eats.

Allison Jacobs

The Bronx Bar
476 2nd Ave., Detroit
(313) 832-8464
Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.
Sat.-Sun. noon-2 a.m.

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