The old ball & chain & I headed out to Backstreet this past Saturday night. Arguably the city of Detroit’s flagship gay bar, it closed a couple of years ago but was recently reopened by the owners/managers of Ice.
The new Backstreet holds a special distinction: According to their website, “no other gay bar in Michigan has a 4am dance permit.” We were gone by 2, as I’m in bed by 1am most Saturday nights. But if I were 18 again, I imagine I’d be pretty excited about it.
They redid the interior nicely (although the potted palms are a bit much). Cocktails were overpriced ($9 for a Sapphire & tonic, no lime) & I’d advise against the $15 pitcher of Long Islands, which tastes like poison. The DJ played an unusual amount of hip-hop for a gay bar, which, hey, not really my thing. The parking lot appeared to be well-patrolled, which is welcome given the neighborhood.
The place was crowded with guys of a wide range of ages; although skewing slightly to the young & twinky, again, not my bag, there were a lot of good-looking men as well.
They also have a lot of special events lined up in the next couple of months, including lots of top-tier porn actors, which to me suggests it’s being managed well.
Meanwhile, just around the corner from my condo in Ann Arbor, a new neighborhood bar just opened. The Village Pub is, to my knowledge, the only bar in the vast expanse of strip mall that straddles Washtenaw Avenue from Stadium to east of US 23. (There are restaurants with liquor licenses but it’s not quite the same.) I haven’t made it over yet, but I want to make it over soon to check it out. Even if it ends up being mediocre I suspect I’ll be a regular, just to keep the place open as an option within walking distance.
If you’ve visited either the new Backstreet or Village Pub, share your experience in the comments section.