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Sky Bar 

Sky Bar is one of those Detroit gems you hear about. Located just off Woodward inside the historic David Stott building, Sky Bar is ironically located on the first floor. But in the near future, Sky Bar 33 will open on the 33rd floor of the same building.

For now, Sky Bar occupies the first floor and downstairs of the Stott building. Both areas are simultaneously elegant and laid back. There is no pretention, but you are fully aware this place is special.

And since this is our New Years Eve issue, it would be apropos to mention Sky Bar's party. For a mere $25, you will get a champagne toast, free appetizers (sliders, chicken satay, firecracker shrimp and more) from 8 to 10 p.m., champagne martini specials, two of Detroit's top DJs and a $12 caviar breakfast special. If you're really celebrating 2011 coming to an end, booths with bottle service are available for around $300 per table.

Did we mention there's a theme, too? Prepare for the retro '80s (yes, the '80s are considered retro now). Dress up like Don Johnson or Madonna or Grandmaster Flash and ring in the New Year with '80s themed house and dance music. If only they were mixing drinks with Tab. So, instead of Tab cocktails, try one made with champagne. Bellini, a house specialty, is sweet and fruity with a subtle effervessence from the bubbly.

Can't make it for NYE, don't worry. Sky Bar is open six days a week – they are closed on Sunday. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., happy hour offers a selection of $5 mixed drink specials, $3/$4 beer and wine, and small plates for $6 and under. And for the females, Wednesday night is ladies night, which means half off martinis. Get there early to take advantage of happy hour specials and then indulge in a martini or two.

Sky Bar has an extensive liquor selection and even a few choices from Michigan, including Knickerbocker Gin and Valentine Vodka. The bartenders are well versed in cocktails and can fix up something special for you. Even with such a heavy focus on alcohol, the food is quite good, too. Don't skip the sliders! These aren't your run-of-the-mill grease bombs, but rather mini gourmet burgers. My favorite was topped with gouda and bacon – a creamy, salty and smoky treat.

Whether you're making plans for New Years or just looking for a new place to go on the weekend, Sky Bar should be on your radar. With its mellow atmosphere during the week to the dance parties on Friday and Saturday nights, anyone could have a good time here. Oh, and if you're feeling really adventurous, ask for a Birthday Cake Martini – it's really sweet, but is one of the most unique martinis in the area. | RDW


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