The basement of Tommy's Bar and Grill

Clues at downtown bar point toward the Purple Gang and a colorful past

 By Neal Rubin / Detroit News columnist For every old tavern in Detroit, there’s a story. Or two stories. And they tend to be the same ones. The joint was a speakeasy during Prohibition. That’s the first. No. 2, the Purple Gang drank there. If the Purple Gangsters had really been that devoted to drinking … Continue Reading →

Booze and temperance in Detroit's hard-drinking early years

Liquor played a large role in the city’s history, from fur traders and Indians to Carrie Nation’s temperance campaign and 13 years of Prohibition By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News The furious tug of war between liquor and temperance began at the very founding of the tiny settlement on the Detroit River. … Continue Reading →