- 2001 Woodward, Detroit, MI, 48226
- Overall User Rating:
- (24 ratings)
- 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sun.
Status: There’s more Hardluck in Detroit, and we’re not talking about foreclosures. On March 18, Woodward Avenue welcomed a new occupant downtown when Hardluck Lounge replaced Proof Martini Bar.
“I’m glad they took over,” says 30-year-old Aaron Reece who used to visit the Grosse Pointe Park Hardluck location when he lived there. “They brought the same vibe.”
Lou Colombo who owns the new bar with Jim Smith, worked out a partnership with married couple Natalie and Mike Mouyianis (the originators of the Grosse Pointe Park location) to use the Hardluck name and decor.
Since opening its doors just under two months ago, Colombo, who has worked in various positions in the Detroit nightlife community for more than 20, has seen hundreds of people walk through its doors without advertising thanks to it’s premium spot on the corner of Woodward and Adams near the Fillmore, the Fox and Comerica Park.
“Everybody there wants to enjoy themselves,” says Colombo, who also owns Pat O’Brien’s and Suds Cellar in St. Clair Shores.
Gear: You’ll probably be able to tell whether Hardluck patrons are coming from -- or headed to -- a game at Comerica Park, a show at the Fillmore or a comedy event at the Fox based on how they’re dressed. Thanks to its location in Detroit’s theater district, Hardluck, which has no dress code, sees people from all walks of life and ages swing though it’s glass-paneled doors.
Mood: It may be a cliché, but it’s also truism to say that the staff at Hardluck are some of the most laidback and friendly people.
“We totally like the family-style atmosphere,” says Colombo. “Anybody and everybody who wants to come downtown and have a good time, we’ve got everything you need. We just want to be a nice little neighborhood place.”
The décor provides an upscale look minus the pretentiousness with the black and red casino theme of the Grosse Pointe Park location carried over to the Detroit spot -- including the iron roulette table tops and chandeliers. Black heart light fixtures line the red walls, and the floor is a slate tile.
A wall of windows on the front of the 2,600-square-foot building allows you to take in all the action on Woodward near Comerica Park.
Pick me up: There are no big surprises on the menu which consists of appetizers, salads and sandwiches ranging from $7 to $10.
It’s “simple fresh stuff,” Colombo says.
The kitchen is open until 1:30 a.m.
Along with the wine, beer and liquor selection, Hardluck is rolling out its own line of candy vodkas like Root Beer and Red Fish, which taste delightfully just like the gummy candy Swedish Fish. There will eventually be five different Hardluck liquors.
Domestic beers will run you about $3.50 and imported rings in at $4.50. Liquors tops off about $8, and something like a vodka tonic costs about $4.50. There’s even hot coffee to help sustain you through the revelry that is your night.
Entertainment: There will be live music occasionally, but a neon-colored jukebox and a subscription to Pandora will provide a majority of the music at Hardluck.
“I like the music,” says 29-year-od Melanie Mirisciotti who sipped on a concoction of Diet Coke, Crème de Cocoa and Baileys whipped up by one of the bartenders on request. “It’s not like Top 40.”
A handful of flat-screen TVs are scattered on the walls throughout the lounge, and dartboards and Golden Tee are available towards the back of the bar, which boasts sea foam green walls and a light-colored wood floor.
Hardluck's grand opening celebration is expected to take place in May.