Arguably the hub of nightlife in Greektown, towering three stories high and often packed to the gills with people, the Old Shillelagh is a bar that everyone seems to have good memories of.
"Everybody feels comfortable here. There is something for everyone," says bartender Lou Rico. "From the time people turn 21, they start coming here, they have their birthday here."
"Everyone" is not an understatement either. On weekend nights, the bar packs upwards of 1,000 people and if there just so happens to be a parking lot party going on that number easily doubles, according to Rico.
To better service that ridiculous number of people, there are upwards of 15 bartenders on staff on any given weekend night, assuring easy access to drinks no matter how many partiers seem to be clamoring around the bar.
While the bar remains true to it's roots as an Irish establishment, Rico says that isn't necessarily the aspect that's really pulling in the crowds anymore, although it certainly doesn't hurt.
"Our popularity really grew out of being known as a Irish bar, but now that we have live music, DJs and dancing, our business has really grown," says Rico. "For being in the middle of downtown, there really isn't much in the way of live music. We have Black Mist here performing on the second floor every Friday and Saturday."
They also host DJ Robby Rob and Ryan E as well as the DJ team Black Koala, who perform on the first and third floors, thus assuring every story of the building has some form of live entertainment.
As packed as this place is every weekend, you won't want to miss it on a Thursday night either. Coined as college night, specials include $5 pitchers of Bud and Bud Light (which is downright UNHEARD OF in Downtown Detroit) as well as $3 well drinks and $2 shots. Billy Dixon of Black Mist performs on the first floor and Robby Rob commandeers the rooftop deck. Their Service Industry Sunday nights feature the same specials, and if you come in wearing your work uniform, they'll knock and extra 20-percent off your bill as well.
Though baseball season is winding down, the bar also offers game day specials that start two hours prior to the singing of the national anthem. During all Tigers, Lions and Wings games, $7.50 pitchers of Bud and Bud Light, $3.50 pints and $7 burgers and fries are available along with a free shuttle to and from the game.
Oh yea, we did say free shuttle. And it's not just to games.
"The shuttle is always free," says Rico. "And we also provide it for all major concerts downtown." How's that for service, Detroit? |RDW