Abick’s is represented on 100 Places in the D!!!
All four of the oldest-of-the-old Detroit bars that I recently toured were AMAZING; Abick’s – the oldest family-run bar in continuous operation in Detroit – stands out as my favorite.
Located in a residential neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, the bar has long been a fixture of the community, having opened in 1907.
Step inside, and you’ll see why it’s lasted so long: the welcoming staff, homey, down-to-earth environs, and cheap drink prices are the perfect components of a classic neighborhood hangout – and let me not forget the solemn-eyed Mastiff hunkered down near the bar and compelling artifacts on display that highlight the establishment’s rich history.
Speaking of Abick’s lengthy and lasting life span, here’s an important component of it: according to the guide whose tour brought me to the bar, it has historically been a hangout for police officers and firefighters. This is highlighted by the existence of call boxes inside the bar – old-fashioned telephone boxes that back in the day enabled police and firefighter patrons to be in communication with their offices while they were frequenting Abick’s (how’s that for catering to one’s market?). Nowadays, the call boxes are locked (and, according to our guide, are storage lockers for high-end liquor).
The call box shown in the photo above is housed in a small room toward the back of Abick’s designated as a cigar lounge. Glass cases displaying a multitude of medals bestowed on the bar by police and firefighter clientele also adorn the walls of this room.
Further highlighting Abick’s rich history is a slideshow display in the main area of the bar recounting significant moments in its timeline and that of the Abick family. Tracing the evolution of both via the information presented there, it was wonderful to realize that Abick’s and the family who own and operate it have been supporting the community in various ways (offering free food to patrons during the Great Depression, for instance) for over 110 years! What better place to encapsulate the enduring spirit of Detroit than this one?
A final tidbit worth noting: Abick’s is a cash-only establishment (consider it another aspect that adds to its old-school appeal).
3500 Gilbert St.
Detroit, MI 48210