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  1. #1

    Default Old Detroit Bars

    This may be a strange thread but Growing up in Cass Corridor in the 1970s and having a Bar Maid/Manager for a mother, I was quite the little bar brat where I was constantly underfoot and running about. I met the most interesting people during those times and witnessed a lot of crap that most kids thankfully are never exposed to.
    Just curious if any one has any interesting stories or pictures of any of these old Detroit bars.

    Sabbs 2nd and Peterboro across from Forbidden city
    Ducat lounge 2nd or 3rd st.
    Sweethearts Selden?
    Jumbos 3rd
    The Envoy 2nd across from the Masonic Temple, was a quaint lil basement bar
    The Horseshoe 3rd
    Anderson Garden Temple near Cass
    The Temple Cass near Temple
    Henrys
    The Golden Dollar Cass
    Bob and Bettys 2nd and Mrytle- MLK
    Charlottes Lounge was named something else prior to wife having her husband murdered Charlotte and Cass

    I spent a great deal of my childhood in these bars, Honestly its doubtful that anyone will have much to say about them. The patrons are most likely all gone by now.

  2. #2
    LodgeDodger Guest

    Default

    Henry's on Gratiot?

  3. #3

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    Hi LD no this Henrys was or possibly still is behind the old cab company near 75

  4. #4

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    Northern Lights Lounge on Milwaukee was at one time Leiters Lounge owned by Purple gangster Charles Leiter.

  5. #5

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    When I was a little boy we lived above a elderly couple, Thomas and Katie , the story was he was in the purple gang and although in his 70s I witnessed him kill two much younger would be robbers behind our apartment building after they had bashed him in the head with a brick. The police came arrested him, and soon released him because of it being self defense. he was an amazing old man and his wife was perfect.

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi BodyBagging, it sounds like you should be the one sharing the great stories with us!

    As a student, I remember Anderson's Garden as a notorious hooker bar in the 1970's. I also remember after that phase of its life was over I attended a presentation on the dangers of nuclear war that was put on by the 5th Estate political paper there.

  7. #7

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    Rick I believe you are right about the Anderson Garden, I think it was located on the second floor of the Hotel FortWayne, and I suppose possibly making it subject to easily available rooms and Hookers. My mother did a brief stint there as a manager and I was only allowed to visit her a few times.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodybagging View Post
    This may be a strange thread but Growing up in Cass Corridor in the 1970s and having a Bar Maid/Manager for a mother, I was quite the little bar brat where I was constantly underfoot and running about. I met the most interesting people during those times and witnessed a lot of crap that most kids thankfully are never exposed to.
    Just curious if any one has any interesting stories or pictures of any of these old Detroit bars.

    Sabbs 2nd and Peterboro across from Forbidden city
    Ducat lounge 2nd or 3rd st.
    Sweethearts Selden?
    Jumbos 3rd
    The Envoy 2nd across from the Masonic Temple, was a quaint lil basement bar
    The Horseshoe 3rd
    Anderson Garden Temple near Cass
    The Temple Cass near Temple
    Henrys
    The Golden Dollar Cass
    Bob and Bettys 2nd and Mrytle- MLK
    Charlottes Lounge was named something else prior to wife having her husband murdered Charlotte and Cass

    I spent a great deal of my childhood in these bars, Honestly its doubtful that anyone will have much to say about them. The patrons are most likely all gone by now.
    I was in most of these places back in the late '70s and early '80s. I also remember some other Corridor bars, like the one on Cass just north of Myrtle (the Kibitzer?) where I saw a guy get shot dead, the one on Selden where Honest John's is now (which I think was just called Selden, but I don't remember ever seeing a sign) that was hooker central, the Comet and the Bahamas down closer to Cass Tech, and the immortal Willis Show Bar.

    I also remember Cobb's Corner, of course, which was maybe the best little Detroit jazz bar ever. Wasn't the Charlotte Bar once known as the Gaiety, or something like that? I was in there a few times and remember the guy. He had a collection of belt buckles on the wall and served cans of sardines with crackers.

    There was once a bar in a dilapidated old house on (I think) Cass where my great-uncle and aunt used to hang out. It had a man's and woman's name (like Bob and Betty, but not them) and sometimes the folks would entertain with some piano numbers. I was in there was as a young teen and remember only old folks, smoke, and an improbably sagging floor. It disappeared sometime in the early '70s and I've been trying to recall the place for years. Anybody?

  9. #9

    Default

    Anderson's was on Third just north of Willis. The building is still there.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thinking about it, I may have jumped in too soon. The Anderson's Garden I am thinking of was near Wayne State University, by 3rd and Willis. The Willis Show bar was where I attended that lecture on nuclear war. I think the Andersens Garden I was thinking of was right next to the Willis show bar and looking at Google maps I think the building still exists.

  11. #11

    Default

    I don't have any old memories of the Gold Dollar. But I was there when Neil Yee owned it in the late 1990's

    http://www.golddollar.com/

    Being close to the university and due to Neil's creativity, and the street people who would wander in, the Gold Dollar had the best open mics I have ever been to. It was like an organized night club show, except it was totally unorganized. On a single night you might see 2 rock bands, a magician, a belly dancer, poetry, and a string quartet. Just amazing. And a street person would wander in and sing a song close to her heart, trying for a few moments of glory.

  12. #12

    Default

    The Gold Dollar Im thinking of was closed way before the 90s. It was located on Cass near Charlotte, My mother took me in there when I was about 12-13, told me these were special people ( I suppose her term for cross dressers) as far as the Anderson Garden goes I may have the wrong name for the Bar in the Hotel, My Mom was apart of so many different bars and I was only there a few times. Its sad because she is suffering from dementia these days and all of the stories she could tell are fading fast.

  13. #13

    Default

    It is the same Gold Dollar bar, just decades apart. Neil told me the stories about the cross dressers in the previous incarnation of the bar. When he opened up, he kept the old name because he thought it was cool. I remember reading that for the cross dressing shows, there would be long lines outside.

    Concerning dementia and your Mom, I'm sorry to hear that. Sometimes it seems to me that time steals people away when they are at their best. All you can do is love 'em
    Last edited by RickBeall; December-17-09 at 07:52 PM.

  14. #14

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    Yes, the Gold Dollar was notorious for a cross-dresser hangout in the 70s. I remember going to lunch with a male co-worker who lived in Ann Arbor, I think we went to Chung's. Anyway, walking back to work we passed the Gold Dollar where a strapping big heavily made up and very flashily dressed blonde was holding up the wall in front. My lunch companion thoroughly ogled this confection who ogled right back. When I told him I was pretty sure she was a man, he was really mad at me. Not being from Detroit, he wasn't aware of the Gold Dollar's rep so I guess he could be excused for making a mistake.

  15. #15

    Default

    Elmers Bar, is or was located,where Honest Johns is today. What about the Red Dog?

  16. #16

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    Bodybagging, you should write a book.
    I enjoyed the Bronx, DelRio, Alcove and others, up closer to Wayne State in the late sixties. Lots of stories at each one.

  17. #17

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    EastsideAl, I remember the Comet, and hearing of the Willis show bar, as for the House~Bar, are you referring to a BlindPig That had the bar in the basement on 3rd near Mrytle? That was another one of the hose hookers upstairs and bar downstairs place. I was friends with the owners son and for the life of me cannot recall the places name.
    PGN421 my Mother worked Elmers for awhile as well.
    Rick, good to know that the Gold Dollar lives on in some form or fashion, although relocated. I lived next door to it for awhile in my late teens in a really old apartment building with a VERY UPDATED top floor penthouse apartment, It wasnt really a pent house, but the owner of the charlotte lounge bar whose wife had him murdered, owned the building as well and had the top floor gutted and redone for his personal usages. Man was it gawdy, Bright Red thick plush shag carpeting, dark paneling and black leather furniture thru-out. The hi-light of that apt, was the large 6x6 one way looking glass viewing window over looking the corridor. I used to sit in that window for hours watching all of the street activities at night.
    BobL If My mother was still coherent enough to recall much of her time spent, I would consider writing a book of sorts, because her life would have made for some interesting reading. in the 70;s 80's and early 90's everyone knew my mother in or around the Corridor.

  18. #18

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    Notimpressed~ I ventured into the Freer Bar once but dont recall a return visit.

  19. #19

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    Took the folks to Gold Dollar for they 45th wedding anniversary, had a blast, this be in, oh, 1998 I reckon, and they had that hot waitress there too, place was very smokey. Dad has millions of stories having lived downtown in the 50's & 60's and playing pool in all those bars. Jumbo's is another sweet place and fine establishment where the beer was always cold and most times - free. I think it closed now.

  20. #20

  21. #21

    Default

    The Gold Dollar was always in the same building. It no longer exists as a bar or business entity. Neil Yee sold it almost a decade ago. Was the apartment building you lived in right next to the Gold Dollar? That is where I see the trees front and back. Man, that would have been fascinating sitting in the apartment and watching the street activities.

  22. #22

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    Sweetheart Lounge was on Third, just north of Jumbo's. Both were loaded with hookers back in the late '80s. Crazy scene.

    Cantrells was just next to Gold Dollar back then (?). They had great live jazz there for a while, with Corridor denizens watching sullenly.

    Park Henry was great local people watching until it became gentrified as Club 2500 and now the supposedly reincarnated AFB.

    Ditto for the Comet before the hipster invasion. And the old Bronx.

    Sabb's was interesting too, until it closed a few years back and got torched.

  23. #23

    Default

    Park Henry was the bar I was thinking of not Henrys, Was Sweethearts on the corner, could have swore it had a side street entrance not a 3rd street address. Its sad to hear about Sabbs being Torched, I was doing the Google Streets thing this morning and seen Sabbs still there.
    Heres a few Interesting stories about Sabbs.
    A much older friend, 21 or so, Bugs was Stabbed to death on the corner of Sabbs, just outside the bar/store in the 1970s.
    Once the BIG4 entered a packed Sabbs from the rear, My mother was sitting in the middle at the bar.the gentleman sitting to her right nudged her and handed her a pistol, she in turn with a WTF look on her face dropped it into the trash can to her left, according to her before it was all over she was handed a bunch of pistols knives drugs,all of which she discarded into the trash. talk about your classic pass it down moment.
    In the late 80's I went to visit my Mom at Sabbs, she wasnt working yet, there was a beautiful 1970 SuperBee in the parking lot, I walked in and asked whose car it was, and met the gentleman sitting at the bar. He asked if i wanted to buy it, I asked how Much he said 250.00, I told him I only had about 80.00 he said I'll take it! I left with the car directly afterward. The next day My mother calls me and demanded that I return the car, seems as though I should not take advantage of people that are drunk. I did as told, on a sidenote a few years later virtually the same thing happened with a Pontiac TransAm, this time how ever I did not return the car .
    I never understood how people could allow themselves to care so little about anything other than getting drunk or high.

  24. #24

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    Sweetheart was just up the street from Jumbo's and between the two of them there were dozens of hookers coming and going. It was as crowded at 3 a.m. as any other time. Cops used to pull up to the hookers standing in the street and chit chat with them. Never saw an arrest made.

    There were all these old flats and small apartment buildings on Third, now long gone, that functioned as informal no-tell motels. You could buy weed and crack there too. It was like $6 for a room or something like that. There would be people sitting around watching TV in the living room while all these people were banging away in the bedrooms. We knew a guy who ran one and he'd give people a room or a dimebag of weed without even glancing up from the TV. There'd be seven people hanging out in that living room, nonchalant.

    A friend and I took a girl into Jumbo's in the late 80s for a drink, just to show her the mayhem there. The bartender told us "Women are not allowed here. Leave" We turned around and about 25 women were standing around or sitting on customers laps, and almost all were wearing lingerie. She meant no "non-working" women were allowed. It was all so blatant back then. The Corridor is dead now in comparison.

    Sweethearts closed years ago and got torn down. Jumbo's became gentrified and the hookers got chased off.

  25. #25

    Default

    The building that housed Sweetheart was on the NE corner of Third and Selden. The building survived until a few years ago. It was two doors south of Fortune Records with Mormando's Pizza in between.

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