- 2208 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48201
- Overall User Rating:
- (17 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon-2 a.m. Sun.
- Official Web Site:
Status: The new Bookies Bar & Grille on Cass is a bittersweet reminder of what was for co-owner J. Lambrecht.
Once called Bookies Tavern and housed on the corner of Washington Boulevard, Bookies Bar now sits at a new location on Cass behind the Fox Theatre.
“We didn’t want to move,” says Lambrecht, who owns the bar with Mark Jerant. “The new Bookies was really supposed to be an expansion (of the old one). We tried to create it to be different from the old Bookies Tavern.”
But a handful of owners throughout the last three years were less attached to the multi-level Washington Boulevard building than Lambrecht and Jerant, and the building was sold.
“It was an unfortunate nightmare that we had to deal with,” Lambrecht says. “We were there for about six years. We loved Washington Boulevard.”
Fortunately, a second location had already been acquired, and the Bookies expansion became a full-on move.
Much different from the old Bookies, which Lambrecht describes as “pretty lived in” with “some good character to it,” the new bar offers some bigger and better elements including three levels, a rooftop patio, several HDTVs and an abundance of inexpensive parking (free if you park on the street).
Gear: “We wanted to create a really nice environment that people would feel comfortable coming in in jeans and a tee shirt or a sports coat,” Lambrecht says.
Expect to see plenty of Detroit gear on game days and a more laidback approach on the weekends.
Mood: The dark sage green walls are beautifully accented by dark polished woods, chandeliers, marble bar tops and expansive windows on the first of three floors, but the draw this summer has definitely been the roof top patio off the third-level lounge.
“I love the open roof,” says Frank Gonzales, 32, of Livonia who was at Bookies for the first time Saturday night. “If I can find a place that has outdoor seating then I try to go there.”
Michelle Murray, 23, of Westland agreed. “I like the patio. It’s good to be outside. I would come back just to hang out with friends.”
Several patio sets litter the slate-tiled roof, and umbrellas provide shelter from the sun’s rays or light rain. The Detroit skyline is as much a part of the entertainment as the bands inside.
Pick me up: More than just booze and beers, a full kitchen allows Bookies to offer meals like Cajun Beef Tips as well as mouthwatering desserts like strawberry cheesecake, cinnamon French toast with vanilla ice cream and caramel maple syrup and hot fudge cream puffs stuffed with vanilla ice cream for $5 a piece.
“I want people to be able to come here and drink and eat at a really reasonable price,” Lambrecht says. “We try to do high-end food to the best of our ability but we keep the prices really moderate.”
The favorites are the Michigan chicken salad sandwich and the fish sliders.
Specialty martinis like the Monterrey (1800 Tequila, triple sec, lime juice and a splash of cranberry juice), the Beachcomber (Malibu Rum, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice) and the Cayman Island Cocktail (Malibu Tropical Banan, Malibu Coconut, Midori, pineapple and orange juice), will run you $7-9. Beer is anywhere from $2.75 for a bottle of PBR to $5 for assorted drafts that include Guinness, Newcastle, Blue Moon and the Motor City Ghettoblaster. Wine is available by the glass or bottle.
On game days, enjoy the Game Day Special: a pitcher of beer and 4 shots for $15.
Entertainment: “We look at it as an upscale kind of sports bar,” Lambrecht says, and with 14 HDTVs and a 16-ft. projection screen, sports fans will be right at home. During the day, at least one TV is tuned to a news station so the business crowd can keep up with what’s going on in the world during their lunch break, but come nightfall – it’s all about sports.
You can enjoy local band Karate Party every Saturday on the third floor and DJ Katalyst on first floor when the game’s not on.
Beginning this Sunday, Bookies will also offer Baggo (a bean bag toss game) Tournaments with prizes.
A free year-round shuttle is available to events, and during happy hour (4-7 p.m.), a shuttle picks people up from their office and takes them to Bookies and back. All you have to do is call the day of, or a day in advance email firstname.lastname@example.org.