We know many of you – long-time residents and new arrivals, as well as those who just want to explore the D – hit the city with a lady or gentleman. After all, Downtown Detroit is a great place for a date. As the resident bachelor, I thought it’d be helpful to share some of the places and tips I’ve found.
Of course, there is more, but wanted to have a selection in the different neighborhoods of Greater Downtown Detroit.
So without further ado, grab your squeeze and hit the town.
DIA Friday Nights – It really surprises me how many people don’t know about this one. There are always regular activities beyond just seeing the art (such as puppet shows, wax sealmaking, drawing the galleries) you can share with your partner. Of course, you can always browse the gift store.
Although the DIA cafe is good, for extra points meet your date at Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes beforehand. It’s reasonably priced and what’s more big city than crepes in a beautiful neighborhood before you see one of the top art museums in the country?
Eastern Market – If you’re both gastronomes or just into finding cool things, sights, and people, try Eastern Market. Usually, it’s best if you get there before noon. Bring cash to pay for your veggies, and don’t forget to also check out the food trucks (El Guapo is a regular there) or other businesses around like DeVries or Rocky’s, or maybe stop in Germack, which not only has nuts and dry goods but also coffee. Check out the flowers and plants in the Market, too. Spontaneity is good … and I won’t tell you learned it here.
Corktown – Over by Michigan Central Station is the Corktown neighborhood, which has really come far in the last few years. Although everyone knows Slow’s don’t go there right away. You’re gonna end up waiting two hours on date night. Now that’s not necessarily bad, but for something simpler, try the Mercury Burger Bar. It’s on the list of burger places to try and there are all kinds of options.
Afterward, stop by the Sugar House Cocktail bar. I’ve been told it’s one of the top 20 craft cocktail bars in America. I believe it, having been to a few around the country. Remember though – no Jager bombs here. Try an Old Fashioned or a Corpse Reviver #2 (it may not be on the seasonal menu, but trust me) or put your drink choice in the hands of the bartender. It’s entertainment to watch them work. The drinks are a bit pricey but you’re drinking one … maybe two. These are done in the style of the 1920s and 30s. Double points? Do it as a fun night with suspenders and a flapper outfit. The decor of this place, although it doesn’t demand it, fits that kind of fun perfectly. Oh … and guys? Try the Leather Bound Book. It smells of mahogany and you’d make Ron Burgundy proud.
Movie night – Did you know Downtown Detroit has a first-run movie theatre? It’s a clean, top notch operation in the Rencen and is run by the same folks who do the Palladium in Birmingham. Maybe enjoy the RiverWalk and The RiverWalk Cafe first (or let your inner kid out with a carousel ride before), then walk over to your movie. Whether you park by the cafe (free) or do the valet or garage thing (only $2 with validation at the movie theatre) you can’t go wrong. Many times, there are activities and concerts on the RiverWalk, too. Make sure to check the website for the movie schedule.
Game or concert time – So often there’s a game or concert downtown. Whether it’s the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings, Downtown is a different place when there are an additional 20,000-100,000 people milling around. There are many places for food and drinks to check out before and after the game. There’s even starting to be a Foxtown Food Truck Rally on some weekends.
My advice is to park once in a garage like Grand Circus Park, Foxtown or the Opera House (I hate having to remember to feed the meter) then go ahead and explore. If you lock your keys in your car, need to find a lost friend or have any other issues, you should know Project Lighthouse has your back. Look for the lighthouse logo on numerous buildings Downtown.
So enjoy the bright lights and big city for a date night downtown to remember.