Cheers: ‘Parade Day’ is Sunday in growing Corktown

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The annual St. Patrick’s Parade, Sunday, is an event that draws a sea of revelers — Irish and otherwise — to Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.

The area’s bar and restaurant scene is evolving quickly, and those who only hit the area once or twice a year on events like parade day will notice the changes.

At Brew Detroit collaborative brewery, 1401 Abbott, there’s a spacious tasting room with 10 often-changing taps. The tap room opened to the public a year ago, and has been hosting a few events like Detroit rock group Mexican Knives, DJs and beer events.

On Sunday, Brew Detroit will offer free parking for early customers who are headed to the parade. Fill up with brisket, smoked chopped pork, brats and more from Barlow’s Gourmet Sauces. They’ll be serving 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The bars on Michigan Avenue — particularly PJ’s Lager House, Nemo’s and McShane’s Irish Pub — are usually packed to the rafters on Parade Day, and Corktown Tavern, 1716 Michigan, is no exception.

The two-story pub closed temporarily last week for “cleaning and repairs.” On Sunday, they’ll make up for lost time with a party starting at noon with party rock bands the Howling Diablos, the Reefermen, the Beggars and the Muggs. It will cost $10 to get in; 21 and older only.

On the south side of Michigan, Rubbed sandwich shop will take advantage of the crowds and will be serving lunch — including corned beef sandwiches — in front of the tiny restaurant at 2015 Michigan. The sandwich and charcuterie shop recently made some updates to decor and menu changes. Rubbed is open for lunch daily, and now offers a steakhouse-style dinner menu Thursday through Saturday.

Other restaurants, like newcomer Bobcat Bonnie’s, will have a tent party to accommodate extra guests.

The most buzzed-about new restaurant in Corktown, Katoi, won’t be open on Parade Day, but will be making its official debut on March 21. The Thai restaurant, propelled by the talents of chef Brad Greenhill, will open with a full bar in a completely renovated space at 2520 Michigan.

Restaurateurs and developers who are interested in becoming part of the growing neighborhood should check out O’Connor Real Estate. The Corktown-based realtor is showing many commercial properties for sale, including the fantastic St. Cece’s Food & Spirits gastropub at 1432 Bagley. Irish pub Casey’s at 1828 Michigan is also listed for sale. Both bars are open for business now.

The 58th annual parade starts at noon at 6th Street and travels down Michigan to 14th Street near Roosevelt Park.

Vinology rewards guests on 10-year anniversary

Hip Ann Arbor wine bar Vinology is also celebrating a milestone this month. Owned by the same folks behind Merchant of Vino and Birmingham’s Bird and the Bead, Vinology has been at 110 S. Main in Ann Arbor for 10 years.

In that time the wine-centric bar and restaurant has hosted 4,610 birthday parties, 1,410 anniversaries and 300 weddings.

As a thank-you to guests, anyone who dines at Vinology this month can be entered to win one of three wine-tastic prizes, including free dinner for a month for 10 months, a dinner for 10 or 10 bottles of wine. The monthlong celebration also includes $10 bottomless mimosas during brunch service, which runs Friday though Sunday.

Pumping out the good times

Next week, on St. Patrick’s Day, the Town Pump Tavern in Foxtown will celebrate 20 years. The bar and restaurant is a staple for dining and drinking before and after events at the Fox Theatre, State Theatre or Comerica Park.

Customers can enjoy 20 percent off specials on March 17, and 20 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Detroit Fireman’s Fund.