Everyone loves a fresh start. For Tigers fans, that's what opening day represents: Another chance for their favorite baseball team to play ball and — hopefully — win the game.
Not everyone will have a ticket when the Tigers go up against the Minnesota Twins Monday, but that won't stop people from having a good time. Much of downtown Detroit will be a sea of orange and navy blue, especially near the stadium.
"It's a holiday for us, I can't wait," says Dominic Yono, co-owner of Rub BBQ Detroit and Taqo. "We've been getting prepared for like a month now between hiring staff and decorating and we've done a lot of remodeling. We customize our menu just for opening day so we can feed everybody. We don't let anybody leave hungry."
If you plan to bar hop, here's what's happening in bars and restaurants in the Comerica Park area:
Near the ballpark
Opening Day Block Party: Hosted by radio station 97.1 the Ticket, this open air party takes over Grand Circus Park with DJs, live music, vendors, beer sales and a giant screen. The tent opens at 10 a.m. Admission is free. Grand Circus Park is at Woodward and E. Adams.
Rub BBQ Detroit and Taqo: Yono says his two restaurants will be like three parties under one roof on opening day. Besides Rub and the adjacent Taqo, seating and game-watching will be available on the second floor of Rub. At one point this spring, Rub hired Slow Roll co-founder Jason Hall as a bar manager and had plans to transform this barbecue restaurant into Cykel, a bicycle-friendly bar and restaurant. Yono says the owners have since moved away from that plan, but the eatery does want to become more bike friendly by adding bike parking and pumps. Yono also plans to tweak the menu to add more small plates and variety. On opening day, besides a live broadcast of the game, there will be VIP seating and bottle service available and six DJs. Customers interested in reserving a table should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 18 W. Adams, Detroit. (313) 964-0782.
Town Pump Tavern: A casual Foxtown favorite, the Town Pump is expanding the number of guests it can accommodate with a heated tent outside the establishment. The tent will have a full bar, barbeque food and, of course, huge televisions for game watching. Cover is $10. Live near St. Clair Shores? Get a ride to the Town Pump's party from Pat O'Brien's Tavern, 22385 E. 10 Mile. The party train leaves at 9 a.m. and includes round trip and free entry to the Town Pump party. Call (586) 292-8181 to reserve.
Coaches Corner Bar & Grille: This is one of those classic sports bars that has affordable beers, plentiful seating and a huge love for the Detroit Tigers. 1465 Centre, Detroit. (313) 963-4000.
Cliff Bell's: You may not consider a jazz club a hot spot to watch a baseball game, but this classy joint is open with a special lunch menu. It's often not as crowded as the other spots, and it's a less rowdy atmosphere. 2030 Park, Detroit. (313) 961-2543.
Punch Bowl Social: This will be the first opening day for one of Detroit's newest hangouts. With a bowling alley, video games, and a full bar and restaurant, PBS is sure to attract sports fans. Service starts at 7 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, and PBS will have a special opening day menu with breakfast burritos, wings, cauliflower nachos, burgers and coney dogs. 1331 Broadway, Detroit. (313) 749-9738.
Harry's Detroit: You'll have to mosey just outside of the Foxtown area to get to Harry's, but the party is worth it. They start at 7 a.m. and have a tent, deck seating, a DJ, and free parking. Look for a full menu of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. 2482 Clifford, Detroit. (313) 964-1575.
Firebird Tavern: This new-ish Greektown spot has two floors to accommodate all the revelers starting at 8 a.m. Hungry baseball fans can order from the bar's menu, which includes craft beer and cocktails. Families with underage children are welcome. 419 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 782-4189.
Old Shillelagh: For the early party people, this classic Irish pub opens at 7 a.m. every opening day. Enjoy a heated tent party with DJs and dancing, or hop on the free shuttle to Comerica Park (if you have a ticket to the game). Cover is $10. 349 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 964-0007.
Exodos Rooftop Lounge: Celebrate the Tigers from on high at this rooftop bar above the Golden Fleece Restaurant. The tent party with six DJs starts at 9 a.m. and there's no cover until after the game. Those looking for bottle service or reservations should call ahead. 529 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 962-1300
Old Miami: For post-game fun, this Cass Corridor dive has a DJ and a chance to win tickets to a future Tigers game. 3-9 p.m. 3930 Cass, Detroit. (313) 831-3830.
TV Lounge: If you like a little dance party with your baseball, the TV Lounge has a full line-up of DJs like House Shoes, Cash4Gold, Phil tha Mix and Bruce Bailey. Party runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and tickets start at $15. 2548 Grand River, Detroit. (313) 965-4789.