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Oct 19, 2011 02:36 PM

Help! Need downtown Detroit dinner/bar recommendations for 15 people on Saturday 10/29

I'm planning a bachelorette party next weekend for 15 girls and am getting nervous about the dinner reservations I have at Small Plates since they keep calling me to confirm other people's reservations. Also, I had a bar reservation for Cliff's Bell, but they just told me yesterday they are no longer accepting reservations. Not sure if all of this is tied to it being Halloween weekend?

Any recommendations would be much appreciated since I'm from Chicago and not too familar witih Detroit. We will be staying at a casino hotel and needdinner/bars to be close by (a short cab ride or walk) instead of Royal Oak or Ferndale.

The restaurants and bars can be fancy or not (bride is pretty low-maintenance), but it's still a special night so nothing too "hole in the wall".

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Try Vicente's (Cuban, or Angelina (Italian,, both large, fun places with plenty of experience in serving a large group.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim M

      Trust Jim M. for his suggestions. He's a hound who knows his stuff.

      But if you want another choie, and you want a price no object event, The Townsend in Birmingham will totally fill the bill with great food and service in a private room...but be prepared for nosebleed prices. Have been a guest at several of events there and I have to say it's perfect.

      1. re: Jim M

        I'm a suburb guy and not proud of it. I've tried Vicente's and found it very good, but maybe not a grand slam (ok maybe if my meal was a mere $4.50 cheaper I'd have said grand slam). Once you get in there (not easy to navigate there and you don't want to have to walk from super far) the bride surely will be happy. This is a solid Latin food/dance/hip choice. Conservative, relative to some of the Detroit urban scene, yet fun, fun, fun. Way better than Small Plates, IMO.

        Also, Greektown is a spot for young women to get wild and crazy, while feeling safe, but this area is too marked up ($) for me.

      2. Wow, sorry, totally missed the no travel bit. Opus One could probably fit you out nicely. Did the casino offer any options? If not, surprised. Well, have fun and let us know how it was.

        Opus One
        565 East Larned Street, Detroit, MI 48226

        3 Replies
        1. re: berkleybabe

          Thanks, Babe! Yes, I was wondering about the casinos. I haven't tried the restaurants (not a casino person), but the casino restaurants are some of the best-reviewed places that have opened lately in Detroit, and you could put your cab costs toward even better food. Anu, let us know where you're staying, and I'm sure some people on the board can steer you.

          1. re: Jim M

            Thanks for all the suggestions! We are going to have dinner at Vicente and then start the night at Skybar. Maybe we'll end up in Greektown or the casinos afterwards. We purposely didn't want a casino restaurant because most are heavier meals that are a bit pricier for a large group. We're staying at Motor City since it had the best deal for a large suite. I appreciate everyone's help!

            1. re: AnuN1

              this might be worth checking out for drinks, aps, desert, champagne bar, etc.

              24 grille in the book cadillac hotel. not to far of a walk from vicente.


        2. It's been a little while since I've been into the Detroit bar scene, but as a recent bachelorette, here's what I'd do. I'd eat at one of the casino restaurants, and then take a cab down to St. Andrews to see what show is going on, and if it's sold out/too expensive and you can hit the Shelter in the basement there. Then maybe bar hop over to Jacoby's and then go up to Greektown. I'd probably end the night going to Motor City Brew Works and then the Bronx bar, especially if your crew loses a few members and it's just the late nighters going out because Bronx is pretty much a hole in the wall.

          If Cliff Bell's can't accommodate you with the reservation thing, other places might be Centaur Bar, The Town Pump Tavern, and Harry's Detroit. Have you thought about arranging for a van instead of cabs? A lot of bach'ette parties do that. Also some of the casinos and nicer bars have shuttle service. You might check that out.

          With it being Halloween, Insane Clown Posse is going to be playing the Fillmore, so there will be that crowd around fyi.

          1 Reply
          1. re: charlesbois

            edited to add: ICP will be there on Halloween, i.e. Monday, and not during the weekend.

          2. If you are not familiar with Detroit the best advice I will give you and this is not Detroit bashing as I am in the city a lot. " DO NOT WALK ANYWHERE FROM THE MOTOR CITY CASINO!" Explore the downtown, there are many great places but go in knowing that it is all cab rides. Or your best option might be to all pitch in for a Limo Bus to move you about in style.

            Have a great time,


            1 Reply
            1. Would love to hear an update, how was your visit?

              2 Replies
              1. re: firestalker

                The bachelorette had fun, and in the end, that's all that matters. I've been coming to the Detroit suburbs for years now, but never to the actual downtown area. It's like a ghost town and I have new appreciation for anyone who's trying to revitalize the city. I did get to go to the Eastern Market, which was way better than any Chicago farmers market in variety and price!

                To the bachelorette party:
                Motor City's service was atrocious in that I wasn't able to check in until 4:15pm (they said they were busy cleaning the suite from the previous guest)...check in is at 3pm and I had the guests coming at 5...I needed every bit of those 2 hours to get the suite decorated and ready (plus I was paying for it.). The hotel also made some arbitrary rule about no coolers, but just to me, and not to any of the other guests I saw with coolers...and I had plenty of time waiting in the lobby to watch others check in. I've already complained to the hotel, but no real response.

                Vicente was absolutely fantastic - great food, fun salsa dancing and an extremely helpful hostess with Jasmine.

                Next we went to Skybar, which was empty and pretty obvious I shouldn't have made a reservation requiring a deposit. But it was a nice after-dinner transition and they bought us a round of shots.

                Then we went to an Irish bar called O'Shillelighs. Perfect kind of bar to end the night in - costumes, beer , Top 40 music and the realization that we may be getting too old for all this :)

                Thank you everyone for your input!

                1. re: AnuN1

                  Thanks for the update, sorry that Motor City was so douchey!

                  Never would have thought of the Old Shillelagh...which I will always remember as the Old Shitleg--one drunken post-game evening, one of my friends took it upon himself to rearrange the letters on the marquee sign! But a pretty lively place if anything's going on in town.

                  Glad you got to visit Eastern Market. It's an awesome place that I like better than Pike Place Market in Seattle, which is way more touristy.