Art | Bars & Restaurants | Community | Events | Music

How to properly play in Detroit

This past Friday, I spent the evening in Detroit. As the night progressed I realized that I was having the PERFECT night. There is so much to do in Detroit these days, and if you’re lucky enough, Bruce Weber will have the same plans.

The night began at Willy’s & Shinola. Willy’s Detroit is the newest retail to open in the city, located next door to it’s sister store, Shinola. To celebrate the Willy’s opening and Shinola’s 1 year anniversary, there was a block party on Canfield, and hundreds of people there to celebrate. Including Bruce Weber. He had just come from the DIA where he kicked off the opening of his exhibit, Detroit (sadly, Anna Wintour had already left town). Willy’s sells upscale clothing, accessories and home goods. There were a couple hairdressers on hand as well, providing hipsters with haircuts. It was all very exciting and just great to see so many people in Midtown having a nice evening.

City Bird & Nest, two sister stores of their own, were also open across the street. Owned by siblings (and old friends of mine) Emily and Andy Linn, the stores sell some of the most wonderful things I have ever seen. My favorite items include Michigan-themed jewelry, Detroit-themed home decor, and their very own book on Belle Isle. No seriously, they wrote it. I picked up a housewarming present for someone, and we continued our journey through the city.

Next stop: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Did you know the DIA offers a series called Friday Night Live? They are open until 10pm on Fridays and have free (FREE!) music in the most beautiful room in Detroit, Rivera Court. And a little (un)known fact – tri-county residents are given free admission to the museum by showing their ID. I always forget this. So not only am I in a spectacular museum on a Friday night in Detroit, I am not spending any money. That’s amazing (and it matters because later on I go to Roast and I spend a LOT of money). On this particular night, we heard some beautiful music from Wind and Song, a recently formed trio featuring Dennis Carter (flute), Lisa Raschiatore (clarinet) and Mariah Mlynarek (piano). This coming Friday will surely be exceptional as well, as members of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival will be performing. 

And the last stop of the night? The best restaurant in town with the best service around, Roast. Now I have only been to Roast 100 times, but I am pretty sure it’s our finest gem. It you don’t eat meat, it’s probably not for you, although there are plenty of vegetarian options. Let’s just say, if you are a member of PETA, you won’t like seeing the suckling pig on the rotisserie. But for my money it doesn’t get any better than Roast (EAT THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS). One of my favorite parts of the experience this last time was watching the bartenders make their specialty drink  Anton Jimenez & His Datebook Sazerac. I can’t remember what goes in it, but I can tell you that watching this was like watching an artist paint on canvas. They put so much passion into it and I assumed it tasted great. So great  in fact, the table next to us ordered about 12 of them, and lucky for everyone they had a room at the Westin Book Cadillac just upstairs. If you really want to know how to make the most of your Roast experience, tweet @ellecav and I will tell you how (HAVE YOU HAD THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS YET?)!

It’s nights like the one I have just described that make me happy I live here. Please never say you are bored on a Friday night. This town is full of opportunity.

Rivera Court Performance

Wind and Song perform in Rivera Court at the DIA.

Lauren McMichael
Lauren McMichael is an advertising account manager at SMZ, where her client list includes Broadway in Detroit and the Detroit Red Wings. Lauren is also a founding member of Detroit Passport to the Arts, which cultivates audiences within the Detroit arts and culture scene. Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Lauren is extremely passionate about the city. Aside from DVoice, Lauren can be found writing on personal blog, Black Tie Optional. Follow her @ellecavmc.