Tiny Candy Bar at The Siren Hotel is a sweet addition to Detroit's craft cocktail scene
Mixing the look of old Hollywood with new Detroit, the Candy Bar at The Siren Hotel in Detroit's theater district is a sweet addition to the city's craft cocktail scene.
Tucked behind a thick, velvety curtain with beaded trim in the lobby of the newly opened and revamped hotel — designed and owned by ASH NYC — inside the Wurlitzer Building, the cocktail lounge may go unnoticed unless you know what you're looking for.
The Candy Bar, which debuted softly this month, opens at 4 p.m., just as the retro-looking lobby coffee bar Populace Coffee shuts down for the day.
Behind the curtain, the U-shaped bar seats around a dozen on red velvet chairs, and total capacity of the room is only 30. Aside from those chairs, the brown spirits in glass bottles behind the bar and some of the garnishes, just about every other inanimate object in the Candy Bar has a pink hue.
It's not one of those craft cocktail bars that frowns on having your cellphone out — after all, they are catering to travelers since this is a hotel — but your pocket screen is no match for the stunning vintage Murano chandelier over the bar made of dozens of spiral glass pieces, or the humongous disco ball that flings flecks of white light across the blush-colored lounge. Both of these ceiling statement pieces were shipped from Paris.
Set your mouth to the same channel as the room by ordering the Bubble Rum ($13), a rocks cocktail made with extra dry rum, bubble gum syrup, lemon sherbet, Suze (a Swiss apéritif) and hopped grapefruit bitters. The bitters tone down the sugar-sweet taste you would expect from the bubble gum. This is a really fun cocktail.
The 12-page drink menu is precise and well-edited. I wouldn't expect anything less considering the folks behind the Candy Bar: partner Kate Williams (Lady of the House) and managing partner Matt Wang. Chef Williams designed the bar's snack tray with barbecue nut mix and marinated olives and she will also be designing an actual candy bar for Candy Bar.
Besides the Bubble Rum, people are also buzzing about the New Gimlet ($16), a twist on the classic with Kaffir lime-infused gin, bitter lime cordial and finger lime "caviar." Each expertly-designed cocktail on the menu includes a description of the taste and a clue as to what kind of glass it will come in.
The drink menu has a lot for wine-lovers, with reds, whites, pinks and sparkling vino by the glass or bottle. There's a great selection of rum here, too, which gels well with the white molded palm trees in the corners of the bar.
Aside from the cocktails, I especially appreciate the Scotch collection, which ranges from quality blended Scotch like Monkey Shoulder ($10), peatier options like Laphroaig 10 year ($14) and special occasion sips like Macallan 18 year ($60).
Price-wise, the cheapest drink looks to be the Lake Brothers Lager brewed nearby in Corktown ($5).
But you aren't here because you're looking for a deal or discount. Candy Bar is for the occasion where you spent extra time on your outfit and you are headed out on the town, or you have some small victory to celebrate after a day at the office. You've been lucky enough to snag a bar chair or couch at the newest, hippest cocktail lounge in town, so get that $99 bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rosé.
The Candy Bar at The Siren Hotel, 1509 Broadway, is open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Reservations not accepted. Contact the hotel at (313) 277-4736 or firstname.lastname@example.org.