- 14915 Charlevoix, Detroit, MI, 48215
- Overall User Rating:
- (4 ratings)
- 4:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. Mon. - Thu. and Sat., 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri., 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Sun.
- Official Web Site:
Status: There aren’t many bars in metro Detroit that can claim to have remained virtually unchanged for the last century, but Ye Olde Tap Room is just such a bar.
Since opening in 1912, the eastside bar on Charlevoix has retained its name, location, much of its décor and a loyal clientele.
“What you see is what you get,” says Russell Mack who has owned Ye Olde Tap Room for the last 35 years after taking over for his father. Consistency, he says, has been the key to the Detroit bar’s success. “You never want to become too hip because then you become passé.”
Gear: You’ll find a mix of young and old, blue- and white-collar professionals, but what you won’t find is a dress code. Thursday night’s crowd was a discord of fashion with some people in dress shirts and suit jackets and others in sweatshirts, jeans and basketball shorts.
Mood: The old neighborhood bar doesn’t boast fancy lighting or slick finishes, but there’s no denying its character. More than 10,000 beer labels are papered to the walls, dozens of beer taps are showcased in a glass shelf and wine corks glued together make up the bar’s corkboard.
“This place has such a family atmosphere,” says manager Wally Jaczkowski. “I’ve got regulars that have been coming here for 30 years, and I get college kids that live down the street. It’s a really cool mix. It creates this vibe where it’s not a party bar. It’s like a meeting place for the neighborhood.”
The 200-person bar has concrete floors, wood-paneled walls decorated with old newspaper clippings, pin-up girl photos and old beer taps. There are a handful of tables and an outdoor patio.
“There’s no pretense,” Jaczkowski says. “We’re just a bar you go to when you don’t want to go to THAT kind of bar. It’s a hole-in-the-wall. It’s quiet. You can drink your whiskey in peace or you can have a conversation.”
Brian Addy, 31, of Grosse Pointe Park who hits up happy hour at the Tap Room four to five times a week says he likes that you always know what to expect. “It’s so consistent. It’s the best place around.”
Pick me up: Ye Olde Tap Room has a full bar, but the pride and joy is its selection of more than 400 beers and 30 single-malt scotches, Jaczkowski says. “We keep them all fresh and we rotate our scotches.”
In addition to more than two dozen Michigan brews, you’ll find beers from all around the world including Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Poland. Beers range from $3 to $23 depending on the type. There are a few basics like Bud, Miller and Corona if you’re craving something more traditional, but “if somebody asks me for some fruity frou frou drink that I don’t know how to make, I usually just pour them a glass of whiskey because that’s the kind of bar it is,” says Jaczkowski jovially. “You don’t come here to get a big fancy Sex on the Whale cocktail or whatever.”
Ye Olde Tap Room also offers meat-and-cheese plates.
Entertainment: There is one flat-screen TV in the corner of the bar, but it’s rarely on unless “Jeopardy,” “The Simpsons” or a local sports team is playing.
You’ll find live jazz music at the bar occasionally, and there is a small room with a dart board.
There is only a cover when there’s a show, and it’s never more than $5.