Social Districts in Metro Detroit

Support local businesses and stroll the social districts of Royal Oak, Ferndale, Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, and more.
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Photograph courtesy of J’s Penalty Box

A social district is a portion of a city’s downtown area that allows open carry of alcohol in certain zones from participating businesses, usually between streets and intersections. Social districts gained popularity during the pandemic when local bars and restaurants lost business due to lockdown restrictions. Although restrictions have been eased, these nine metro Detroit social districts are gaining popularity among residents and visitors alike.

Mount Clemens

The Oasis, Mount Clemens’ social district, can be enjoyed by those 21 & over daily from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Businesses that are currently participating include Abbibo, Cellar 104, Gumbo’s, and New Age Noodles. The social district stretches between Gratiot Ave. and Main St. from Cass to Welts Sts. Those participating are encouraged to stay in the zone and throw away cups after use. downtownmountclemens.org.

Grosse Pointe Park

Grosse Pointe Park opened its social district in August 2020. The district’s boundaries are on Kercheval Ave. starting at the alley between Alter Road and Wayburn St. to Nottingham St. and continuing on Charlevoix Ave. There are two common areas within the social district, which is open from 5-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Participating businesses include Atwater Brewery, The Brick’s Pizzeria, Cellar 313, The Charlevoix, Red Crown, and O’Flaherty’s. grossepointepark.org.

Ferndale

Downtown Ferndale’s Patio Zone is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The Patio Zone stretches down Woodward Ave. between Lewiston and Saratoga Sts., with sidewalks through Nine Mile Road and Vester Ave., as well. The list of participating businesses is extensive, and includes Bobcat Bonnie’s, One Eyed Betty’s, The Rust Belt Market, Woodward Avenue Brewers, Mezcal, and plenty more. Look out for teal and orange signs that mark the Patio Zone’s boundaries. downtownferndale.com.

St. Clair Shores

Greater Mack Ave. will be closed between Nine Mile Road to Mack Ave. and Cavalier Drive from 5 p.m. to midnight on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from May until October. The social district of St. Clair Shores offers various activities including live music, food trucks, yard games, and more. The four currently participating venues are Copper Hop Brewing Company, Shores Inn, Firehouse Pub, and Cache Cocktail & Wine Bar. scsmi.net.

Royal Oak

From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Royal Oak’s social district is up and running. The social district spans down Main St. and through intersections from Lincoln to Eleven Mile Road. A total of 18 businesses in the district are currently participating including favorites like Bar Louie, HopCat, North End Taproom, Pronto, Smoky’s Cigar Bar, and The Royal Oak Brewery. romi.gov.

Oak Park

The Water Tower Social District in Oak Park is open Monday-Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. The Water Tower Social District is located between Tyler and Tulare Sts. on 11 Mile Road, near the Water Tower (hence the name). This social district is planning to expand in the coming months, but its current participating businesses include Oak Park Social and Dog and Pony Show. oakparkmi.gov.

Clawson

This social district’s boundaries are at the intersection of 14 Mile Road and Main St. in downtown Clawson. Participating businesses include Three Cats, Mojave Cantina, Whiskey Taco Foxtrot, Old Detroit Burger Bar, Weiss Distillery, Tavern on Main, Grand River Brewery, Gus’s Snug Irish Pub, and Renshaw Lounge. downtownclawson.com.

Farmington

The Syndicate, Farmington’s social district, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The boundaries of The Syndicate stretch down Grand River Ave. between Farmington Road and Orchard Court. Participating Syndicate establishments include Farmington Brewing Company, Sidecar Slider Bar, Basement Burger Bar, 1 Up Arcade Bar, Masa, Mi Mosa, Los Tres Amigos, and Loft Cigar Lounge. downtownfarmington.org.

Novi

The Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk, Novi’s social district, is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until midnight. Participating businesses include Bar Louie, BATL, Beerhead Bar & Eatery, Black Rock Bar & Grill, Buddy’s Pizza, Emagine Theatre, Ford’s Garage, and The Hub Stadium. twelvemilecrossing.com.

For more community events, visit hourdetroit.com.