Cheers: Classic Detroit bar returns as a hip hangout

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

From the outside, the plain and sign-less facade of the Marble Bar may lead one to believe this is the wrong address for Detroit’s newest bar and live music venue. Upon entering through the side door, however, it’s clear that this is indeed the hip new hangout just south of New Center.

Completely redone from its previous life as gay bar the Detroit Eagle, the Marble Bar, at 1501 Holden at Trumbull, is trimmed with wood, gold and, of course, marble touches.

Booths are lined along one side of the spacious room with the bar on the other. An upstairs lounge allows for a birds-eye view of most of the action. Tucked under that is the stage which will host DJs, local punk and rock bands and touring acts. This Saturday the attraction is a masquerade ball with local musicians, a fashion show, burlesque performance and an art show.

At the bar, which is topped with cool marble, Hamm’s and Stroh’s beer is offered for only $2.50, and the bar has a good selection of bourbons and single malt Scotch. Marble Bar also has red, white and sparking wine.

A craft cocktail list is on par with trends, using fresh and thoughtful ingredients. Some of the drinks have Detroit-centric names like Purple Gang, M10 and the Billy Bonds, a rye-based cocktail made with vermouth and a house-made honey lemon syrup. We’re told that when there’s a packed house for a show the full cocktail list may not be available so people can be served quickly.

Those who were barflies in Detroit in the 1950s before the Lodge was built may remember the original Marble Bar, which was moved to make way for the freeway, and then torn down to pave way for Wayne State University. The current bar’s owners have been able to find some glassware from the original bar.

Applebee’s opens Monday

Livonia-based restaurant group TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants will open the first Applebee’s restaurant in Detroit proper on Monday.

Located at 8 Mile and Woodward, the casual chain will have all the trimmings of other Applebee’s locations, including new menu items like the Kickin’ Turkey Stacker and Triple Hog Dare Ya. Detroit’s Atwater Brewery has also crafted 8 Mile Amber, a new beer to be sold only at the Detroit Applebee’s.

Deliciously Brief

■Bob and Mary Higgins who owned Oxford Inn in Royal Oak are now operating a new restaurant in New Baltimore. Fins Eatery & Spirits has the Oxford’s beloved baby back ribs and other familiar menu items. Find it at 51006 Washington. Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro of Novi Town Center is scheduled to open a second location – Jim Brady’s Detroit – in the old Oxford Inn location.

■Au Cochon in Birmingham, which opened last month, has began serving breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Dinner service starts at 4 p.m. Au Cochon, 260 N. Old Woodward, is owned by chef Zack Sklar of Social Kitchen and others.

Food & beverage events

Dinner with chef John Somerville of the Lark at Yemans Street: This five-course meal from Somerville includes duck confit, lamb chop and a peach and blueberry tart for dessert. 7 p.m. Thurs. $75. 2995 Yemans, Hamtramck.

Detroit Fall Beer Festival at Eastern Market: One of the largest and most popular beer festivals in the state, this two-day event has more than 600 products from Michigan breweries. 5-9 p.m. Fri. $40 in advance, $45 at the gate. Sat. is sold out. $5 for designated driver tickets. 2934 Russell, Detroit.

Rick Halberg at Yemans Street: Owner of Local Kitchen & Bar in Ferndale, Halberg brings a fresh, five-course meal to Hamtramck. 7 p.m. Wed. $65. 2995 Yemans, Hamtramck.

Black Wine Dinner at Vinotecca: This blind tasting features eight wines served in blacked-out Riedel glasses, paired with small plates. 7-9:30 p.m. Wed. and Oct. 29. $49, plus tax and tip. 417 S. Main, Royal Oak. (248) 544-6256.

Paranormal Dinner at the Whitney: A four-course dinner, tour of the mansion, carriage house and basement, plus a performance of “The Haunting of Broadway.” 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30-31. $100 plus tax and tip. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 832-5700.

Motor City Brew Tours Brewery Bus Tour in Detroit: Tickets include transportation to Jolly Pumpkin, Brew Detroit and Batch Brewing, plus a tour of each stop, a light lunch and beer samples. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 7. $55. Pick-up location is at 514 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak. or (248) 850-2563.

Wild Game Dinner at Mabel Gray: Chef James Rigato teams up with the Root’s chef Nick Rodgers for a five course meal featuring bison, rabbit, quail, venison and more. 7 p.m. Nov. 8. $100, includes wine pairings but tax and tip extra. 23825 John R, Hazel Park. (248) 398-4300.

Made in Michigan Craft Beer and Wine Festival at Diesel Concert Lounge: Locally-made beverages, plus bands and 50/50 raffle. 7 p.m. Nov. 20. $30 in advance, $35 at the door. 33151 23 Mile, Chesterfield Township. (586) 725-2228.

FestivALE at One-Eyed Betty’s: Christmas beer, comfort food and Americana music. Noon-midnight Nov. 21. $30 in advance. 175 W. Troy, Ferndale. (248) 808-6633.

Melody Baetens