Food & Drink

16 Detroit Bars Open on Christmas Day

Megan Frye Published On 12/17/2015 Published On 12/17/2015

While checking Christmas Day schedules with area watering holes, Thrillist was met with such responses as: "I hope not," "Are we what on the what now?", and “Why, are you lonely?”. But, without fail, there remain the few and the proud, the bars that even Christmas can’t put a cork in.

So, whether you're stuck with family, stuck without family, or just avoiding the whole thing altogether, head to these spots which, unsurprisingly, overlap considerably with Detroit’s Bad Decision Bars.


The Old Miami


It would take a hurricane to keep The Old Miami from opening its doors, which means you can go from Grandma's couch to... someone else's Grandma's couch.

Whiskey in the Jar


Ah yes. This bar would likely serve up cheap suds during the apocalypse, so clearly Christmas is an option.

Courtesy of Kit Lindamood of Abick's Bar

Abick’s Bar


This neighborhood bar is a hidden gem and of course open on Christmas Day for its stream of loyal locals.



If Keno and Stroh’s don’t appeal to you, hit Roast and keep it classy at one of the best hotel bars in town.



Southwest’s favorite neighborhood staple would never leave its patrons hanging.


My Dad’s Bar


Of course they're open.



The place has been a Ferndale staple for years, and will serve up passable pizza to all, even on Christmas.




Hamtramck’s newest bar will make its Christmas Day hooch-selling debut at 7 pm.

3 Nicks Tap Room


It's true even on Christmas Day: a Downriver party don't stop... at least, until the Bud Light runs out.

Sneakers Pub



Service with a smile? Maybe. Service when all you need is a one-way ticket to Blottoland? You got it.


Ralston St

This place has more ghosts in its closets than your entire family combined. No really, it’s haunted. Belly-up and hope the spirit you meet is as benevolent as Clarence Odbody.



Nestled within the Renaissance Center's Marriott Hotel, at Volt, you'll be surrounded by fellow drinkers who skipped town for the holidays on purpose.

MGM Grand Detroit

Greektown Casino

Play some Christmas blackjack!

Motor City Casino

Roll some Christmas craps!

MGM Grand Casino

Open 365 for your vice-related needs. Get that money, spend that money. Who needs holiday scratch-offs when you’ve got the 3D version AND multiple bars.

The Painted Lady Lounge

The Painted Lady Lounge


The Painted Lady Lounge is a great bar to go to when you want to booze it without anyone knowing or caring that pants have been unbuttoned all day to make more room for ham and Hamm’s.

Your friendly neighborhood house party

Now that booze is legally sold on Christmas Day -- thanks 2010 Legislature! -- your best bet may be your buddy’s basement. Hopefully there’s a kegerator and shot roulette. If this is not an option, you may need to reevaluate your choice in friends.

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Megan Frye is a Detroit writer who can be found decking the halls with boughs of bad decisions. Tweet her with your holiday misgivings at @fryechild.  

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1. Greektown Casino-Hotel 555 E Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

We love stopping by Greektown Casino to play some blackjack.

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3. MGM Grand Detroit Casino & Hotel 1777 3rd St, Detroit, MI 48226

This casino is open every day of the year. You probably shouldn't visit it that often.

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4. Old Miami 3930 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

Owned and operated by a Vietnam vet, this place is where the old war heroes hang out, thus the big comfy couches with flannel blankets, ancient rifles hanging from the ceiling, and of course, High Life on draft.

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5. Whiskey In The Jar 2741 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 (Hamtramck)

Home of the Ratalope (see photograph), this is where Hamtown’s finest gather. Aside from local regulars, the crowd’s also a diverse mix of Hamtown hipsters, Polish natives, and PBR admirers.

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6. Abick's 3500 Gilbert St, Detroit, MI 48210

The longtime owner of Abick’s passed away in 2014, after a long stint living above the bar her parents opened in 1919, but the place still has the near-century-old familial charm it always has: original tin ceilings, a old-time brass cashier, walls filled with old family photos. A cigar lounge, all smoke and scotch, lives in the back of the dive, for puffing pleasure. You can find a reliable platoon of regulars shooting pool under the bar’s green-tinted lamps, but that doesn’t mean the atmosphere is exclusive to the old guard: the wave of young people moving into the neighborhood have adopted this anachronistic standby as their new favorite, too.

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7. Roast 1128 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226-1907

Headed by Iron Chef Michael Symon, Roast is a massive, highly decorated, 200-seat steakhouse. Its bar/lounge is also known for dishing out some of Detroit's best cocktails, each made with fresh ingredients. Located within the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, the bar’s Renaissance-style ambiance will make your night out feel classy as can be.

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8. Donovan's Pub 3003 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216

This neighborhood pub is a staple in Detroit's night life.

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9. My Dad's Bar 14911 Kercheval St, Detroit, MI 48215

This is a cozy and casual spot to come grab a cold beer and watch some sports in a place that feels like your dad's old basement lounge -- but with way better TVs.

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10. Como's 22812 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

Great beer and passable pizza? That sounds like a great Friday night to us!

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11. Bumbo's 3001 Holbrook St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 (Hamtramck)

Replacing the old Hamtramck dive bar K. Hank's Lounge, Bumbo's has an updated look and feel -- cute vintage glassware contains more "cocktails" than "mixed drinks," and the menu of modern Polish food aspires to be a step above the typical Ham-town Polish dive bar fare. Run by an adorable husband and wife team, Bumbo's is the Brooklyn-esque bar Detroit's been waiting for.

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12. Three Nicks Tap Room 14594 Eureka Rd, Southgate, MI 48195

This is a great place to grab a Bud Light with some friends.

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13. Sneakers Pub 22628 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

This is one of our favorite bars in Detroit.

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14. Stonehouse Bar 19803 Ralston St, Detroit, MI 48203

This bar is so old-school, it is rumored to have been a hangout for Prohibition-era Detroit gangsters, the Purple Gang -- and even a brothel at one time. Hypotheses aside, this bar today has a coveted Victorian-style covered front porch, a jukebox, cold beer, and cheap prices that may explain all the regulars.

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15. VOLT 400 Renaissance Dr, Detroit, MI 48243

Just off the Renaissance Center People Mover stop, VOLT is a hotel bar that will hold up in a pinch. Go with a group of friends or just grab a martini, enjoy the views, and mix it up with whoever happens by.

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16. Painted Lady Lounge 2930 Jacob St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 (Hamtramck)

Hamtramck’s Painted Lady lounge (rumored to be Detroit’s oldest) could use a paint job, sure, with turquoise and coral pink chips falling off of the wood-sided facade of a former Victorian-style home, but fixing that would betray the standby’s unpretentious, rough-and-tumble charm. Regulars gulp PBR on-tap after downing well shots as regular punk music acts keep them nodding their heads in the fashionably unfashionable orange-walled space. Weekly events, from movie nights to live comedy to bar-side taco nights keep the place full.