The Bronx Bar
Oh, the Bronx. If you’re in the mood to drink then pull up a stool, chair or couch cushion at this Cass Corridor institution. It’s dark as sin no matter the hour, good tunes flow hard out of the juke and the alcohol is cheap. Dirty scenesters, neighborhood elders and doe-eyed Wayne State kids mingle freely around the Bronx’s signature hanging stained glass lamps (watch your head) and wood tables lit by glass holy candles (watch those elbows, too). Ask anyone, from bartender Joe Lampinen to regular Derrin-the-bike-messenger, and they’ll tell you they keep coming back because the Bronx is Detroit’s own “Cheers” — just darker and smokier, like the city that loves it.
Drink 1: Whiskey Sour ($3.50 with well)
For me, a good whiskey cocktail is more about the stir than the label. The Bronx’s Joe can stir — so I can drink. I could have drank five more of these to fill my six-drink quota, but alas, I had to move past my comfort zone — which tasted particularly comforting with three Camel Lights lit off each other.
Drink 2: Dirty Martini ($10 w/Grey Goose)
Since I didn’t pay for this cocktail, I can’t complain that it was served in a shooter with only one olive. However, if I had paid for it, I would have complained — a lot. Instead, I finished this thimbleful of deliciousness in two gulps and fed the jukebox more Neil Diamond to soothe my soul. Next time, I’ll demand that they at least serve it to me in their wine glass, which is really a small orange juice glass, but anyways …
Drink 3: Old Milwaukee ($2)
You can’t mess up cheap bottled beer. Something about the lack of light, the third Neil Diamond greatest hit and my desire for a shot of whiskey made this go down like water, which is what makes this the Bronx’s number-one seller — along with shots of Jameson.
Drink 4: Sambuca on the rocks ($5)
Gross. Who likes black licorice? Who likes black licorice infused with rubbing alcohol? Apparently, both my 95-year-old grandmother and my 21-year-old drinking buddy, who took over my overflowing shooter with gusto. Kids these days! Someone told me “real” Sambuca has opium in it. If the Bronx gets this version in, perhaps I’d try it again.
Drink 5: Bloody Mary ($5 with well)
I have to say, I've never been a Bloody Mary girl. I also have to say I missed the celery stick and the Worcestershire sauce. But I assume both of my desires would be met at the weekly Sunday afternoon Bloody Mary bar — although I usually try not to continue drinking immediately after rolling out of bed at the crack of noon.
Drink 6: Gummy Bear shot ($4.50)
Let’s get real. By now, I should switch to cranberry juice. However, a tray of these delicious Kamikaze-spiked-with-peach-schnapps shots arrive courtesy of Joe. In one word: Dangerous. These things are fucking good (like Gummy Bears) and addictive as liquid crack. It’s nice I live around the corner, because this candy knocked me and my fellow crack-heads on our asses ... and out the door. | RDW
4476 Second Ave., Detroit; 313.832.8464
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