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Jan 20, 2008 04:05 AM

Best Michigan bars for snacks and games

I am looking for traditional bars in Michigan that do a great job with bar snacks and have good bar games. Some of my favorite bar snacks are pickled eggs, deep fried pickles, Better Made Hot BBQ potato chips, and warm cashews dispensed from a nut machine heated by a light bulb from behind the bar, but I am up for anything! By bar games, some suggestions include a pool table, darts, and my favorite, almost extinct bar game of shuffleboard, with the metal pucks and the wax that looks like sawdust that you sprinkle on the wooden table.

No "fern bars" please....


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  1. The #1 for me would be Win Schulers in Marshall. I'm not sure it will be exactly what your after but you gotta love Bars cheese!


    1. the gathering place in troy (corner of wattles & john r) if a neigborhood pizza place/bar. good place for families (lot of after hockey game gatherings) or just for having a few beers and watching games on the tv's. pizza is square and you can get a family value meal for $20 - 8 slice square pizza w/ one item + antipasto salad + a pitcher of pop or beer. the reason for my post - they have a table shuffle game (along with a couple of video games) which is one of the greatest bar games ever.

      anyone else have any favorite bars around town with table shuffle? there are not enough of them.

      8 Replies
      1. re: xman887

        There is one at Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor. I have yet to find one anywhere else in AA.

        1. re: xman887

          Northern Lights bar (New Center area) had shuffleboard last time I was there, as well as good food. I believe the bar itself used to be called the Baltimore.

          1. re: xman887

            Excalibur's in Grosse Pointe Park has table shuffle board. Also, pool, electric darts, golden tee/deerhunter game. Definitely not a "fern bar".

            1. re: detroitbrian

              I'd forgotten about Excalibur! Haven't been there in years!
              I feel silly asking, but since it's been brought up many time in this string: what is a "fern" bar?

              1. re: amandaqtpie

                You know, the upscale (or trying to be) kind of bar that has indoor planters with ferns along brass railings, i.e., not the dark shot-and-a-beer kind of place with one diamond-shaped window in the front door.

                Table shuffleboard is indeed extremely popular at Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor. However, they put up notices asking you specifically not to sprinkle salt on the table. Don't know if that's a dealbreaker.

                I always thought the Cadieux Cafe in Detroit was fun--you have to reserve the feather bowling lane, but it's an addictive game if you try it. Sort of an indoor cross between bowling and bocce, and great fun even for novices.

                1. re: Jim M

                  That's because you are not supposed to sprinkle salt on table shuffleboards....it is a special powdered wax. So it is definitely not a deal breaker for me!!! Salt ruins shuffleboard tables.

                  I haven't yet tried feather bowling at the Cadieux, but it is on my list of things to do.

                  1. re: momskitchen

                    powdered wax? the one's i have played on use sand....

                    1. re: xman887

                      Well, I am not sure where you are playing, but I'd be willing to bet it's not sand or salt. It looks sandy, but it's powdered wax. It comes in a canister that looks like a cleanser cannister. If you don't believe me, ask the bar keep to look at the container. It probably looks like this: http://www.shuffleboardfederation.com...

                      Sand or salt would ruin a good shuffleboard table pretty quick.

          2. Venture out to the north country for a unique experience at Palazzo di Bocce. This is a pink palace built only to satisfy the hunger of eager bocci players. Anyone can play - kids, grown-ups, professionals. Their "outdoor" indoor bar has a great view of the action and they offer some darn good Italian cooking! Pretty reasonable!http://www.palazzodibocce.com/index.html

            3 Replies
            1. re: North Oakland Gal

              Wow no kidding! I love Bocce and I feel rather silly having passed that place many times thinking it was a banquet hall.

              1. re: North Oakland Gal

                i have never played there but i have had lunch there a few times. the food is good and reasonably priced.

                1. re: North Oakland Gal

                  I've been there, and it was nice! Full disclosure: definitely a "fern bar" type of environment. The food is definitely upscale, and it cost quite a bit of $$ for the family to play bocce and eat there. If you are looking for a more rustic dive bar type of experience, this isn't it.

                2. Royal Oak has a bar with shuffleboard south of downtown, on Main Street just a bit north of Holiday Market. It's a green-colored bar (whose name escapes me at the moment), and I can't vouch for the food or drink. I'm only familiar with this place because they used to have a pinball machine inside, but no longer have pinball, which means my interest in the place is about zero. They definitely have shuffleboard, though.

                  1. Clementine's and Clementine's Too, both near Lake Michigan in Southwestern Michigan have VERY GOOD bar food!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus other great food also.

                    See link below: