Ever since the weather broke (which was ridiculously early this year), we've been scouring the land to find some great food, drink and recreation areas to warm our spirits. Deck and patio season in Michigan is notoriously strong – seeing as we have an abundance of lakes (water views), a fine city around us (the urban oasis), a load of folks looking for extracurricular activities (fun, fun, fun!) and new establishments popping up all the time (check out the new kids on the block!). Combining all of these wonderful things about our area, we decided to put together a visual guide to metro Detroit's decks and patios for you. As previously hinted at, we'll be taking a look at four categories: decks with a water view, urban oases, new establishments and patios with a specific – and entertaining – purpose. We hope you'll enjoy checking out the decks and patios on the following pages as much as we did visiting them and gathering info. | RDW
Tre Monti in Troy offers DJs, live music and completely gorgeous surroundings. The interior of Tre Monti is beautiful, but their wrap-around patio is nestled nicely in the green pastures right behind the San Marino Club – and how fitting, because they offer a uniquely festive bocce area. That's right, you can not only grab amazing Italian cuisine while you're there (in addition to a fantastic array of adult beverages), but you also get to enjoy the time-honored tradition of a few games of bocce ball!
Airway Lanes offers not only a place to bowl, grab great food, play a game of darts, check out live music and DJs, enjoy a comedy club and play cards, but they also happen to have their very own sand volleyball courts in a secluded area (in addition to lawn darts, corn hole, horseshoes and more). And we're not talking one gravelly volleyball court either – they have multiple courts that are beautiful, well-maintained and likely to have a game going on no matter when you stop by. How's that for outdoor venue entertainment?
10 North is another unique place to swing by if you're looking for a good time – it offers a nice combination of state-of-the-art technology and good, old-fashioned fun. A great bar with good food, drink specials, a good-looking bar staff and tons of outdoor fun! They offer softball and volleyball games and leagues, DJs, a great beer selection and one fantastic outdoor patio.
Coyote Joe's Nightclub may have won our 2012 Best Of award for Best Country Bar, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's a pigeonholed venue. Besides their beautiful deck, sexy cowgirls, mechanical bull, fantastic drink specials, HD televisions all over the place and...well, that's enough, don't you think? This establishment, as a whole, takes up a humongous 10,000 square feet – and if you've ever seen their deck, which is right off the river, you know that it's equally gigantic. With a full bar and fun tiki torches, this is a deck party waiting to happen!
red fox pub
Red Fox Pub had one of the most highly-anticipated openings of recent memory. The sleek, stylish and super-Euro – c'mon, they even broadcast soccer – patio is located just upstairs from Cantina Diablo's. Get some great food and drinks, and enjoy the view and ambience that only downtown Royal Oak gives you. Oh, and be sure to take note of their insane selection of tap beer while you're there – it's an Englishman's dream.
Orchid is your one-stop dance destination! Ferndale residents have been yearning for a good establishment to spend their weekends at – and now they've found it. This place not only offers the suburban/urban dance club in a quaint downtown vibe, but you'll absolutely feel all of those things magnified when you set foot on their patio – out back, undisturbed from passersby and full of fun. Check it out next time you need a break from dance mania – just step out back and take in the awesomeness.
Andiamo knows how to put together an exceptional menu – no matter what their culinary endeavor is. And their Riverfront location is no exception. With a patio and amazing view of our beloved Detroit River, it's a wonderful spot for gathering, whatever the occasion might be. And even if you're eating inside, the restaurant has enormous windows that provide a great view of the river and our friendly neighbors in Windsor.
Beach Grill Restaurant & resort
The Beach Grill Restaurant & Resort has one of the most aptly named establishments in town. Their motto, "Escape...Relax...Enjoy", couldn't be more appropriate. With dockside service, an enormous deck (and interior), a designated outdoor bar (Aqua Bar) and one of the most hoppin' parties in southeastern Michigan during the summer months – almost daily – you can literally experience it all in St. Clair Shores.
Elektricity not only boasts one of the most remarkable weekend lineups in terms of national and global EDM superstars, it has one of the hottest decks in metro Detroit. Need a drink and a place to cool off from dancing your derriere off? Or maybe you just want to enjoy the evening's weather – and grab a refill without going back inside. Well, this hotspot in downtown Pontiac offers you all those things!
Madison's hasn't won our Best Of award for their patio for four straight years by luck. The massive patio – with a fully-functional bar, heaters and lighting (festive for any occasion) will help you feel at home and comfortable during any season. Are you looking to boogie-oogie-oogie? There's also a raised DJ stage, flatscreen TVs to catch the game and separate bathrooms outdoors (how irritating is it to have to go back inside when you've got to go?). And did we mention that it also holds a whopping 500 folks? Party central indeed.
Pat O'Brien's Tavern is the curveball in the "new kids" group. They've actually been around for a while and have solidified their reputation as a great, laid-back destination for good food and great drinks (and even better drink specials) on the Nautical Mile. Their recent renovation, though, has upped the ante. They're in with the big boys now. With a chilled-out atmosphere on the patio, it's tough to beat this local favorite.
roadside Bar & Grill
Roadside Bar & Grill is an upscale American roadhouse. The new kid on the block – and particularly in this Bloomfield neighborhood – has one of those beautiful interiors that truly lets the outside shine in. It sports beautiful, expansive window walls and a gorgeous front patio that holds upwards of 50 people. Patrons of the previous establishment, Brandy's, will be very pleased at the transformation the building has undergone.
Taco Rosa's at Rojo Mexican Bistro in St. Clair Shores offers an endless supply of great Mexican food, tequila and one hell of a lake view. Situated on the Nautical Mile, its interior stylings are just as extraordinary as the water view. And did we mention the unbelievable selection of tequila? And great food? You can enjoy every aspect of summer at Taco Rosa's – food, booze and great company.
Brownies on the lake
Brownie's on the Lake is another location whose name says it all. They've got great food, too – and fantastic drinks. And the Tiki Tuesdays parties they host are some of the best around (and for good reason–Tuesdays are so boring otherwise). Brownie's offers a fantastic view of Lake St. Clair and if you're looking for a nautical, yacht-club theme (with dockside service), you've found your hotspot.
Old Shillelagh is known for Irish celebrations – duh. You can't beat the tent party for St. Patty's Day anywhere in the city. But you should also know that they have some pretty killer nights (and days) on their patio during the warmer months too. It's tough to beat the traditional feel of the Shillelagh and there's something to be said for stepping outside the Celtic shrine onto that patio, and enjoying summer in the city.
the alley deck
The Alley Deck at the Majestic complex is just what the doctor ordered. It's got a great view of the city, offers some fresh air and a full bar, and it's – literally – just a step outside one of the best music venues in metro Detroit. Who could ask for more? You can take a break from the craziness inside to grab a drink, play some shuffleboard or just hang with your homies and admire the view.