Found on Michigan Avenue in Detroit, just a block away from Navin Field where Tigers Stadium once stood, you'll find the kind of bar you have always loved is still flourishing in the nightlife scene today.
A neighborhood operation, there's not a lick of pretense to be found inside Corktown Tavern, and no matter what you're wearing or who you are, you're immediately a friend when you walk through it's doors.
Run by a man who's known to patrons, neighbors, friends and family as Big Tom, this establishment of drinking has been a staple of the Corktown scene since it first opened its doors as The Batter's Box when the Tiger's still called their Trumbull and Michigan Avenue stadium home. Though it hasn't been known by that name in 12 years, it's still the same joint, owned and operated by Big Tom himself.
Remnants of the bar's heritage still remain in what's now known as Corktown Tavern – baseball bat engravings still adorn the wooden bar counter and you can still watch sports on their singular flat screen TV. While not a lot has changed, that's the way Big Tom says he wants to keep it and it's a choice that's wholly appreciated.
"We drink beer and we watch sports here. We get everyone from professionals in suits to neighborhood people to industry people and everything in between here. We're not about being cool, we're about being real," says Big Tom.
Not in the least bit trendy (and we mean that in the most excellent sense), you won't find a long list of martinis or "It" drinks on the menu here.
"Most people just order a beer and shot, that's the kind of bar this is," says the owner.
According to bartender Miranda Meder, the bar's stocked to make whatever drink you'll find most pleasing, but shots of Jager and Jameson are most certainly their biggest sellers, with Pinnacle Whipped taking a close second.
Carrying quite a few quirky brews as well, you can find Michigan craft beers here like Dragonmead's Final Absolution (and for only $5 a bottle, which is downright unheard of) as well as Motor City Brewing Work's Ghettoblaster and brews from Saugatauk too.
Old favorites (and we mean seriously old) like Blatz are also on tap here and you'll be happy to know you can order a Stroh's here as well.
Corktown doesn't just do drinking well either, they're also a pretty great little concert venue as well. Hosting live entertainment every Friday and Saturday, they also welcome national acts to their second floor music hall any night during the week.
One of the best – and seriously most admirable – things about Corktown Tavern is that they don't jack up drink prices just because there's a live show going on. The price of a drink is the price of a drink no matter what's happening in or outside the bar. And for that, they're truly adored. |RDW