Searching for sizzling hot bars and restaurants with a cool view? ‘Tis the season for metro Detroit hot spots to unveil decked-out patios primed for summertime schmoozing. So, step up to the bar or restaurant and order up some great food and drink with some great waterfront scenery.
H2O hot spots
Dine on at these decked-out patios for the summer
By Andrea FarmerSpecial to Metromix
May 13, 2009
The trendy Beach Grill & Aqua Room serves up a spectacular harbor view year round, but this resort-style facility with a Floridian feel is a prime locale for summertime socializing. Cool off on the 5,000 square-foot waterfront deck or heat things up on the nightclub’s spacious dance floor. The full-service Tiki bar provides a variety of sippables, from beer to frozen drinks and live bands keep the party sizzling.
Dine dockside on a spacious deck or enjoy a cocktail at the patio Tiki bar. The most popular entrees are chicken fontina and the lake perch (both $15.95) and ahi tuna ($17.95). Looking for a tempting after-dinner drink? Try Portofino’s caramel oreo mudslide ($7). This versatile downtown Wyandotte restaurant and banquet facility overlooking the Detroit River is also a comedy club during the weekend, so there’s no need to stress over post-dinner plans.
For those who can never have too much of a good thing, Pier 500 has two Tiki bars that deliver the goods long into the night. Located along the Detroit River, this dual-level club serves up a lively atmosphere, two outdoor decks and a mean cocktail. Try the Sunrise on the Pier (the bar’s take on the traditional Tequila Sunrise) or My Parrot Rita (a twist on a margarita).
This Nautical Mile gem offers live entertainment, dancing and a spectacular view of Lake St. Clair. The festive, Polynesian-inspired deck located along the marina’s canal offers a full-service Tiki bar and is a prime locale for people-watching. It’s not unusual to see boaters pull up to the seawall, dock and join the party.
Situated along the Clinton River, Captain’s Landing offers lunch and dinner cruises aboard one of three river ships — the Clinton, the Clinton Friendship and Captain Paul II. For those who prefer to be landlocked, waterfront dining is always on the menu. The most popular dishes include succulent lake perch ($15.95), tender Delmonico steak ($17.95) and ribs and chicken prepared in the restaurant’s authentic barbecue pit. After dinner, live music and dancing takes over, transforming the restaurant into a swank nightspot.
Summertime or not, this Port Huron restaurant/bar/brewery is always a favorite. Located along the Black River, in the heart of downtown Port Huron, this area staple boasts a picturesque waterfront view as well as tasty eats, Michigan-themed home brews and a lengthy list of specialty cocktails. Kick off summer with a Mojito, made with fresh mint leaves that grow outside the building. Stop in on Boat Night in July and join the festivities that help kick off the annual Port Huron to Mackinac Race—a party just as huge as the annual St. Patty’s Day Pub Crawl. No joke.
Enjoy a waterfront view from any seat in this tropical-inspired restaurant and bar. Guests can sip drinks on the patio of this bustling bar that prides itself on blending an upscale look with a comfortable feel. Of course, the house specialty is the Rum Runner .
Located inside the Renaissance Center, the Detroit location of the Andiamo family of restaurants offers a breathtaking view of the Detroit River and Windsor in a classy, yet unpretentious atmosphere. Though Andiamo’s has earned a reputation throughout the years for specializing in authentic Italian fare, the restaurant’s selection of seafood, steaks and salads should not be overlooked. Manga!
A classic, downtown waterfront experience, this boater-friendly Detroit restaurant allows guests to dock and dine in comfort. For those who can’t tell port from starboard, Sindbad’s restaurant and marina facility still works to create a scenic backdrop. The menu boasts traditional American fare -- primarily seafood and steak entrees.
Not just a clever name. Once the warm weather drifts in, boaters follow and Crews Inn offers plenty of space to accommodate travelers by land or lake. Located on the Clinton River, this modest restaurant offers a charming waterfront view of Anchor Bay, creating the ultimate casual dining experience. A surprisingly diverse menu features entrees ranging from lobster tail and filet mignon to sandwiches and salads.