Detroit Historical Society to resurrect Detroit sports bar Lindell AC

The famous sports hangout was known as a place for both players and fans to enjoy burgers and beers

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
The Lindell AC was at Cass and Michigan for more than 50 years.

Known as “America’s First Sports Bar,” downtown Detroit watering hole Lindell AC will be brought back to life for a special event and new exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum March 16. 

Located at Cass and Michigan, the Lindell AC was around for more than 50 years, serving burgers and playing host to both sports legends and fans. 

According to Detroit News archives, owner John Butsicaris died in 2011 at 91, a few years after the bar closed. The story goes that the “AC” stood for “athletic club,” and this part of the name was added by Detroit News columnist Doc Greene. 

The Detroit Historical Museum’s exhibit, “Lindell AC: America’s First Sport Bar” will open with a special event 6-10 p.m. March 16 that will re-create the bar’s atmosphere with a menu of burgers, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and fries, made by Midtown restaurant Royale With Cheese. Like any good dive, the event will also have beer, a jukebox filled with appropriately-dated songs and sports trivia. 

The night starts with a screening of the documentary "Meet Me at the Lindell," and, according to a press release, is also expected to include an appearance from athletes and entertainers who made the place famous. 

Tickets for the March 16 party are $100, or $75 for Detroit Historical Society members. Purchase online in advance at

The “Lindell AC: America’s First Sport Bar” exhibition will stay open through Sept. 30. 

The Detroit Historical Museum is at 5401 Woodward in Detroit. Call (313) 833-1419 or visit The event and exhibit is an effort of the museum along with Melodies & Memories and the Butsicaris family.

Twitter: @melodybaetens