Prohibition Relics Hide in Plain Sight at Abick’s Bar

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

Abicks RegisterAbick’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;