Exclusive and hard to find, this bar can’t be missed.
By Marina Pia Goldi
Photography by Jason Leinart
Dining out should always be an experience, something that grabs all your senses and makes you leave wanting more. Food, cocktails, ambiance and service should all be well thought out and considered when deciding on the experience you want to create for your customers.
Bad Luck Bar, a new addition to Downtown Detroit, has done something very special. When you’re inside, you feel like you could be in any cosmopolitan city in the world. That’s just one reason it has quickly made it to the top of my Top 10 list in Detroit.
When I want a well-thought-out cocktail — something I can’t get anywhere else — it’s the first spot that pops in my head. Bad Luck was created by Dave Kwiatkowski as a place to escape and focus on experimental drinks.
Trying to find the door to this secret gem isn’t so easy though, which plays into its ambiance. You will need to find the correct alley in Capitol Park and walk down till you find a door with a snake painted on it and a neon light of an all-seeing eye in a window.
Make sure you call ahead, as this bar features limited seating, which only adds to its exclusiveness.
Inside, you’ll enter a dark entryway illuminated by one light and occupied by a hostess. After you’re confirmed to enter, she’ll draw back a large curtain to a high-ceilinged room adorned with hexagonal shapes, a tall bar, dark walls and low lighting — and the smell of smoke-infused whiskeys.
Upon being seated, you are greeted with a specialty welcome cocktail: a warm “Winter Amuse” served in a mini tea cup. Honestly, this has become one of my favorite cocktails served there.
Couples on dates sit closely in booths trying each other’s cocktail choices. A group of friends are making sure to get a video of the Lover’s cocktail while smoke pours out; and then there’s me, sitting at the bar, indecisive as ever.
When I go, I like to try one new cocktail every time. For my second choice, I always go with a Miller High Life in a champagne glass — somehow it tastes so much better served in classy glassware.
I have tried a good amount, and I can say there hasn’t been one cocktail I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. After we’re done and the bill has been signed, I eagerly think about the next time I will be able to come back to this hidden gem.
And, just like that, the curtain closes, you exit through the door and you are back on the streets of Detroit. NS
Bad Luck Bar
1218 Griswold, Detroit