Prohibition Relics Hide in Plain Sight at Abick's Bar

A century-old cash register is the centerpiece at this southwest Detroit dive


Abick’s Bar is on a corner near family homes and old-growth trees in southwest Detroit. The bar’s centerpiece is an elaborate cash register made of marble, wood, and brass. The register bears a sticker from the National Register Company with the year it was made: 1911.

“As far as I know, that’s the original register,” says Kit Lindamood, Abick’s bartender and resident history expert. “It doesn’t operate anymore — the buttons don’t work. We do know that the very last thing that was rang up on it was 55 cents because the tag is stuck.”

The register isn’t the bar’s only relic. Abick’s is one of the surviving Prohibition-era joints in the city and comes complete with a few items from that time, too. A few years back, whiskey barrels were found stuffed away in a secret crawlspace.

The bar has gone through a lot in its 110-year history, but through six generations of family owners, its treasures have been on display, surrounded by patrons who consider Abick’s a second home.

Abick’s Bar, 3500 Gilbert St., Detroit; 313-894-9329;


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

Rocking in Style

John Varvatos and Alice Cooper talk about their musical and fashion influences — and Detroit’s comeback

Well-Versed in Classics

DSO oboe player tools around town in a rare pair of turquoise 1962 Lincoln Continentals

All Dressed Up & Ready ...

Cobo Center is still a work in progress, but Auto Show visitors will notice a host of improvements

One Night Only: Steven Spielberg and John Williams at the DSO

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  4. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  5. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  6. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food
  7. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  8. Precious Metals
    Layering necklaces, stacking rings, and placing bangle upon glitzy bangle: a definitive guide to...
  9. Food Recipe: Braised Beef Brisket
    Chef Aaron Lowen, of Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, shares one of his favorite holiday recipes
  10. An Hour with ... Ricki Friedman
    Founder, Break the Weight