As we approach the dog days of summer – and let's face it, it's been pretty hot and sticky for the past two months – we're revisiting the long list of fantastic establishments in metro Detroit that offer an inviting and enjoyable deck or patio. What makes them great is that no two are the same. Each has its own draw, a fascinating attraction – maybe it's awesome booze, perhaps it's a gorgeous view. Or maybe it's just a great spot to mingle and flirt. No matter your interest, you won't be disappointed in any of the following selections. Go forth and enjoy the remainder of your summer, dear readers. There's tons o' fun left to be had! | RDW
Beer. It's been all the rage for the past 4000 years. Yet, somehow, so many establishments have a hard time coming up with a menu of great food...and pairing it with adequate beer selections. Well, thankfully, Clubhouse BFD came along and filled that void. There is such a huge beer selection (for the record, they admittedly do have other fantastic adult beverages besides the hoppy liquid we've all come to know and love), it will make your head explode. And you're more than welcome to take said beer and enjoy it on their cozy outdoor patio – how great does that sound?
& bar Trendy, gorgeous and surprisingly unpretentious, Birmingham's newest hotspot boasts a very modern and urban patio that makes for a great – get ready for it – social scene. Located right in picturesque downtown Birmingham, you'd be hard-pressed to find a spot that has more of a "who am I going to run into tonight" vibe. Plus, fantastic drinks and a good-looking crowd – sounds like a fantastic night (or happy hour) out to us!
Renshaw's has the unique distinction of being one of those places that feels like a corner bar, yet has fantastic food, friendly service and two (not just one!) fantastic patios. With over 40 beers on tap, delicious house-made pizzas and a great atmosphere, the only thing missing is a great patio. But wait – they happen to have two of those! And they're downright gorgeous. With a ceiling-mounted space heater, giant TV, oodles of room for seating and hanging out and a super friendly and laid-back environment, this is everything you could ever want in an establishment.
cooley lake inn
Great beer, good food and a fantastic location – sometimes that's all it takes to have a successful bar and restaurant. Well, it's a good thing that the folks at Cooley Lake Inn have decided to ramp things up from your run-of-the-mill burger and beer joint. Stepping the bar and food quality up from previous tenants, Cooley Lake Inn combines a great outdoor deck/patio with a fantastic location – the kind of place that builds a clientele of regulars very quickly. If you want that personal touch and laid-back vibe, this is the spot for you.
The fantastic pizza joint in the heart of Ferndale hasn't aged a bit in its five decades of providing delicious Italian cuisine to the public. It still has the iconic sign and a throwback feel, something that is both comfortable and fun at the same time. Ownership that's as involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and a always-friendly customer base add the extra something special to this locale, too. And that outdoor patio? It's simply amazing. Strung lights, flowers, a bar, tons of seating and a great view of the surrounding metropolis? We're hooked.
Cajun food north of the Mason-Dixon isn't something that's too easy to come across. And a joint that brings the party atmosphere and laid-back feel of the South with it? Good luck with that, too. Gator Jake's is able to provide great service, fantastic N'Awlins food and a fun time – and they do it every single night. The patio attached to the restaurant is a great spot to experience all of these things, and with the crowd you get regularly at Gator Jake's – you'll feel like you're right off the bayou.
All of the Fishbone's locations are known for fantastic food, a fun atmosphere and great drinks. But the Saint Clair Shores location, specifically, is known for their massive heated patio. In this warm weather, a heated patio is absolutely unnecessary, but come colder weather, it's a special treat! Fishbone's fantastic patio borders Jefferson, overlooking the fun of the Nautical Mile. Fire pits, a huge bar and plenty of tables make Fishbone's patio an ideal party location any day of the week. Really, a party isn't even necessary – there is enough space that enjoying dinner outdoors is perfectly acceptable too.
Right in the heart of downtown Rochester, a quaint yet beautiful and always fun town, Penny Black provides some pretty fantastic BBQ to a community that has been in dire need of BBQ for quite a while. Their menu, drink selection and location make this a destination for many folks the whole year round. But their patio brings folks out in big numbers, too. St. Patrick's Day is a sea of green and beer, and this warmer weather certainly hasn't hurt business either. Check them out if you haven't already!
It can be difficult to snap back to reality at Café Cortina – it has the feel of an Italian country vineyard (which partially makes sense because it's located on a former apple orchard), yet since 1976, it's sat firmly in Farmington Hills, accessible to anyone and everyone. Good food? Absolutely. Authentically Italian? You betcha. Beautiful surroundings? They've got that covered too – and then some! So, take the time to not only experience some of the finest foods anywhere, but take a load off and enjoy their delightful patio while you're there.
One of the hottest of hot spots in metro Detroit, Curt Catallo and company have done it again! When you're looking for comfort food, look no further than Clarkston Union and the Wood Shop. Well, now there's an equally fantastic locale in Royal Oak too. The (barely) renovated garage still purposely holds all the charm that's characteristic to its respective and historic stretch of Woodward (the patio is literally right off this main artery, making it a truly hoppin' spot). That, combined with their notoriously delicious mac n' cheese, is simply something you can't pass up.