Game Places

Watching the action at a watering hole that’s close to the stadium can rival the pleasure of cheering your team in person. Don’t have a ticket to the big game? Grab a front-row seat at one of these downtown (and near downtown) Detroit bars and enjoy the shoulder-to-shoulder camaraderie of fellow fans

Anchor Bar
450 W. Fort St.
(10 TVs, food)
The Anchor Bar has evolved from 1959, when Leo Derderian, father of the current owner, Vaughn Derderian, bought the place. Leo created an infamous den for journalists and sports aficionados, a hole in the wall where brawls were once frequent and regulars became legends. The stools are filled day and night. It’s now in a larger location, and daytime patrons include lawyers and media folk. Night brings in a shift of red and white, as Wings’ fans flood the bar. The atmosphere is pleasantly dark, but not dingy; the food fried and delicious. “There’s a reason we’ve been here for 50 years,” Vaughn says. “We love Detroit and we love the people.”

Andrews on the Corner
201 Jos. Campau
(4 TVs, food)

Angelina Italian Bistro
1565 Broadway
(4 big-screen TVs, food)
The word bistro doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a sports bar or even thoughts of a pre-game cocktail. Bistro? Think bottles of pinot, dark-wood finishes, and linen-dressed tables. Right? But why not have both? Angelina Italian Bistro lets you have your game and eat pasta, too. Order a quality meal (try the caramelized onion and Gorgonzola strucolo), savor the comforting ambience and, when the glass of pinot is empty, head to the bistro’s bar, switch to beer, and settle in for whatever athletic action is animating the four flat-screen TVs. This Italian bistro satisfies the appetite for quality food and sports — in short, the best of both worlds.

Beaubien Street Saloon
641 Beaubien
(3 big-screen TVs, no food)

Cheli’s Chili Bar & Restaurant
47 E. Adams
(36 flat-screen TVs, food)

Coaches Corner
1465 Centre St.
(9 big-screen TVs, food)
At this spot in the Harmonie Park neighborhood, patrons can order an appetizer sampler plate that’s anything but an appetizer. It’s giant, and packed with everything from chicken tenders to buffalo wings. But that’s not the only thing that’s packed here. On game nights — especially during playoffs — seats and tables around the bar are jammed with jersey-clad patrons who keep a faithful eye tuned to the numerous flat-screen TVs above the bar. No ticket to The Final Four? Seek comfort at the Corner with a libation and some Double Play Poppers while watching shoulder-to-shoulder with some of Detroit’s most die-hard fans.

Cobo Joe’s Sports Bar
422 W. Congress
(14 TVs, food)

Delux Lounge
350 Monroe
(4 big-screen TVs, food)

Detroit Beer Co.
1529 Broadway
(16 big-screen TVs, food)
Whether ensconced at the main-floor bar, seated at the second one upstairs, or tucked away at a table in the back, patrons here are never far from the tube. They’re also never far away from a plentiful array of finely brewed beer. Overwhelmed by the options? Aren’t sure what’s what? Ask to sample. They’ll deliver shot glasses with requested brews. Just off Broadway, next to Small Plates, and across from the Detroit Opera House, the Detroit Beer Co. is rarely empty. It’s a lively place that can get loud, depending on who’s scoring.

Detroiter Bar
655 Beaubien
(12 TVs, 1 big-screen TV, food)

The Detroit Pub
1326 Brush
(17 TVs, food)

Elwood Bar & Grill
300 E. Adams
(3 big-screen TVs, food)

Fenders Tavern
The Omni Detroit Hotel
1000 River Place
(2 big-screen TVs, food)

Flood’s Bar & Grille
731 St. Antoine
(10 flat-screen TVs, food)

Foran’s Irish Pub
612 Woodward
(1 big-screen TV, food)
Foran’s Irish Pub sits smack in the middle of downtown. It’s dark, wood-paneled, and exactly what you’d expect in an Irish pub in Detroit. It’s a shotgun-style bar and a place for drinkers — but not just drinkers. They serve a mean burger and pour a good whiskey. Though they have only one television, it’s a great place to watch the game in the company of some interesting characters.


Harry’s Detroit Bar and Restaurant
2482 Clifford
8 big-screen TVs, food

Hockeytown Café
2301 Woodward
(30 big-screen TVs, food)
Last year, during the Wings’ run to the Cup, this place was complete bedlam — in the best possible way. Fans, who jammed Hockeytown inside and out, were yelling with alternating joy and disgust at goals for and against. For the occasion, the Café opened a patio, projected the game on a big screen, and served burgers, dogs, and beers. There were high fives and hugs all around, among friends and strangers alike. No matter; everyone had the Wings in common. Hockeytown is like that during the regular season, too, just a tad more subdued. Go for all sporting events, but know that it’s a Wings haven above all.

Honest John’s Bar & Grille
488 Selden
(2 big-screen TVs, food)

Hoot’s on the Avenue
1460 Michigan Ave.
(10 big-screen TVs, food)

Loco Bar & Grill
454 E. Lafayette
(4 flat-screen TVs, food)

Nemo’s Bar
1384 Michigan Ave.
(15 TVs, food)
It’s no surprise that Sports Illustrated voted Nemo’s the third-best sports bar in America. Since 1965, Nemo’s has drawn sports fans from all corners of metro Detroit. Located near what remains of Tiger Stadium, Nemo’s is a classic sports bar of the old school. Patrons scarf burgers and chips served on white paper plates until 2:30 a.m. while watching the action on 15 televisions that line the walls of the saloon. It’s no wonder that this was the first spot Mike Ilitch brought the Stanley Cup to in 2007. Nemo’s fleet of green-and-white striped buses shuttle ticket holders to and from all games. Those who stick around can take advantage of breaks in the televised action and read vintage Detroit newspaper sports stories displayed throughout the bar.

Niki’s Pizza
735 Beaubien
(9 TVs, food)

The Motor Bar
Westin Book Cadillac
1114 Washington Blvd.
(1 big-screen TV, food)

Motor City Sports Bar
9122 Jos Campau
(8 flat-screen TVs, food)

Old Shillelagh
349 Monroe
(12 big-screen TVs, food)

Pappy’s Sports Bar & Grill
517 Monroe
(7 TVs, food)

Park Bar
2040 Park Ave.
(4 big-screen TVs)

Post Bar
408 W. Congress
(4 TVs, no food)

2001 Woodward
(2 big-screen TVs, food)

River’s Edge Grille
673 Franklin
(6 plasma screens, 2 mega screens, food)

Town Pump Tavern
100 W. Montcalm
(2 big-screen TVs, food)

MGM Grand Detroit
1117 Third
(22 plasma screens)
This is not your classic sports bar. Centered in the heart of MGM Grand Detroit’s gaming area, U.Me.Drink is for those looking to swap basic wooden bar stools for more sophisticated seating in raised booths. Between periods, innings, or quarters, hit the slots or (on weekdays) create your own musical playlist.

The Well
1228 Randolph
(3 big-screen TVs, no food)

Reported by Giuseppa Ferrara, Michelle Martin, and Terry Parris Jr.

Facebook Comments