Pride Guide

City Guide: Ann Arbor & Detroit, Michigan Bars


Michigan offers some seriously hot men and crazy fun times. Whether you're visiting the cute college town of Ann Arbor or the more rugged Motor City, there's definitely something for everyone.

Things you'll find at Detroit bars:

•Bartenders who appreciate a good tip and pour accordingly

•Guys with real guy bodies, not the overly plucked and preened look you find in some gay ghettos.

•Guys who like having a conversation

•Lots of hot young things looking to party

•If you're a 5-7 in LA, New York, or another similar city you'll be considered a 9 or 10 on the "fresh meat" scale in Michigan

Read about all the hot spots after the jump.

Gay & Away City Guide for Michigan
Ann Arbor & Detroit

UPDATED 10/05/2010 by Andrew Inman


aut Bar
315 Braun Court, Ann Arbor Autbar
Across from the farmers markets in Kerrytown.
The autbar is a gay yuppie haven and has been celebrating cosmos and other gay fun since it's conversation from a Mexican restaurant 12 years ago. Friday nights features a bistro menu downstairs, and it's always fun to have a drink with the college kids before they migrate en masse to The Necto. Adjacent to a gay and lesbian bookstore, a performance (sh aut) space and the WRAP gay community center makes this a haven for gays looking to have a cocktail and relax outdoors without having to consume copious amounts of car exhaust.

Bab's Underground Lounge
213 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor
While not a gay bar, Bab’s is one of Ann Arbor’s best kept secrets. It's actually in the basement of the former Schwaben Hall. They serve up excellent drinks, including amazing Martini's, a wide variety of micro brews and a nice selection of fine Bourbons. Wednesday night has DJs spinning late and awesome drink specials. Check out the photo booth as well.

The Cavern Club
210 South 1st Street, Ann Arbor Cavern_Club_Color_Logo_11
This primarily straight club in Ann Arbor offers a bizarre ambience but can lead to a fun time. It's offers three floors, one each with a different style of music. The atmosphere morphs, like you’re partying an abandoned subway station or up in a high-end dance club (where you can show off in the window). They usually have a live band downstairs, so try and check out a performance of the Killer Flamingos, a Dearborn-based cover band that performs there with some regularity.
Check their website for performance schedules and drink specials.

Elbow Room
6 South Washington St., Ypsilanti (about 15 minutes from Ann Arbor)

The Necto
516 E Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Necto
Across from the Michigan Theater.
The Necto, formerly the Nectarine Ballroom, has been around in varying incarnations since the crazy days of the 80's. Friday nights have a rainbow of gay college students to go with the lights and interesting techno. During the summer it's a bit more chill, but still a great place to visit. If techno / dance isn't your thing, the basement "red room" plays a variety of retro music including hits from Grease interspersed with gay divas like Britney.
Friday nights college guys get in free before 10pm; otherwise, $5 cover.


Backstreet Backstreet
On MySpace or Facebook
1846 Michigan Avenue 

Cafe Gigi's
16820 W. Warren Ave, Detroit GiGi
Down from the warren exit off Southfield.
Cafe Gigi's, named after Gigi's return home from the military, is a drag bar in Detroit. Monday and Friday nights feature go-go boys, drag queen performers and amazing techno dance music. The drinks are cheap and strong (say, “Hi” to blond bartender David). It's the place to be Monday nights (show starts around 11pm) with amazing performer Nicki Stevens and DJ Chico (who you should also meet).
It's Detroit so pay to park at the fenced-in parking behind Gigi’s; call if you get lost.
Cover is $2 before 10:40pm.

Club 9
141 West 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale (about 20 minutes from Detroit)
Wednesday is HUMP night at the Club 9. Hosted by MC Tori Lynn with hot bartenders Tony and Alex, it’s a great place to start your weekend off early with nonstop pulse-pounding music and great drink specials.
Cover is $3

Club Gold Coast
2971 E. 7 Mile Rd., Detroit
Club Gold Coast for the best in go-go dancers in the area. Tuesday nights nights, in particular, features a midnight show— sometimes with drag queens, boys showering on stage, or other random fun happenings. It's in an "interesting" area of Detroit so make sure you get there early enough to valet park your car next to the club.

Detroit Eagle
1501 Holden, Detroit


Fierce Hot Mess at Oslo
1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Fierce Hot Mess is a gay-themed alternative dance party held on the first Friday of the month at Oslo, a straight dance club. It's the alternative place to be in downtown Detroit. Come out and let your fierce side free.

Happy Endings at Berkley Front
3087 West 12 Mile Road, Berkley
For those wanting to venture out into the Detroit alternative night life, check out "Happy Endings" at the Berkley Front in the Detroit suburb of Berkley. Held the 4th Friday, there’s a chill atmosphere featuring the fun music of DJ Michael Trombley of Macho City fame.

On MySpace Menjos
928 W. McNichols, Detroit
Menjos has recently expanded their space, taking over the adjacent bookstore, and the new owners are expanding their entertainment and schedule as well (such as offering the hilarious Drag Queen Boxing). They're the happening bar in Detroit on Thursdays, and offer drink specials.

608 S. Washington, Royal Oak (about 20 minutes from Detroit)
Pronto! is really part of the cute Royal Oak community—gay and straight alike. They offer outdoor dining and feature a restaurant, deli/store, and video bar that packs in the crowds. Unfortunately, we heard word that Pronto! Ferndale, which was the naughty little brother to this Pronto!, has closed.

The R & R Saloon
7330 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Billed as a leather bar, it’s not as intense as what one might expect from that moniker. Cheap beer, strong drinks, food for the hungry, and a dance floor.

205 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale (about 20 minutes from Detroit) Soho-top
1 block west of Woodward

Small, cute bar with a friendly staff and cool locals who welcome visitors as they enter. While there are certain theme nights, like karaoke or TV screenings, it’s mostly a meet and greet bar, perfect for a casual evening out or before hitting a major destination.

See a mistake? Want to add your favorite bar to the list? Email us.