Offering music, vino, brews and more, MotorCity Wine is thriving in its new Corktown location. (John M. Galloway / Special to The Detroit News)
In spite of its name, MotorCity Wine’s offerings go way beyond vino.
Owned and operated by David and Melissa Armin-Parcells, the wine bar and chic hangout hosts live jazz, DJs, snacks, some beer and, of course, wine tastings.
In early August, MotorCity relocated from a second story spot in the Campus Martius area to Corktown. The Armin-Parcells fixed up the building formerly known as Express Bar. With Merlot-colored walls and a clean and modern look, MotorCity makes an inviting addition to the Michigan Avenue nightlife scene.
“It’s been fantastic,” says David Armin-Parcells of the move. “We’ve had a lot of our regular clientele come with us, and we’re getting a lot of new people, as well.”
“It’s an amazing venue. They buy very interesting wines,” says Nick Serra, who last week was relaxing in MotorCity’s spacious backyard that offers tables and chairs with a fire pit and is surrounded by a freshly painted wood fence.
Serra was sharing a bottle of red with fellow wine enthusiast Putnam Weekley, a Corktown resident and a regular at MotorCity Wine.
“I’m known for being picky, so if I sign off on your wine bar (that says something),” says Weekley. Besides being a fan of the affordable wine selection, Weekley enjoys the live jazz program at Motor City, calling it “high quality.”
“This is getting to be the place to go for live music, period,” adds Serra. “It’s a really chill, great people, and it’s good for the neighborhood.”
As much as being a cool place to socialize and relax is important, it’s not called MotorCity Hangout. The wine selection is the focus, and the Armin-Parcells keep things fresh by frequently updating the labels they carry.
To keep customers in the know, they host a monthly wine tasting. The next walk-around tasting, 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, is $25 and includes wine, cheese and charcuterie.
“We get about 30 new items a month and we pick about 20 of them to show,” says David of the wine tastings. “There’s not usually a theme, although certain types of wines and regions tend to get released at the same time, so sometimes there’s groupings. Most are under $20 retail, which is the bulk of our selection.”
1949 Michigan, Detroit
Hours: 2 p.m.-1 a.m.
Wed.-Thurs., 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat. and 2-11 p.m. Sun.
Prices: Wines by the glass run $5-$10, bottles $18-$38,
beers $3-$6, snacks $5-$15
Credit Cards: All major
Drinks: An ever-changing list of wines from around the world and a modest beer list. A small selection of sipping spirits will be available soon.
Food: Cheese, olives
Music: Live jazz most Wednesdays-Fridays and DJs Saturdays-Sundays. This Saturday, DJ and percussionist Craig Huckaby entertains and jazz DJs play vinyl Sunday nights.
Noise level: Quiet to moderate, louder during live sets and DJ nights
Parking: Plentiful lot parking with security cameras