Monday, October 8, 2018

Enjoy a Classic Night at Willis Show Bar

Willis Show Bar opened its doors in 1949.  It began as an upscale jazz club where locals would gather to enjoy a live show while they sipped on a drink, but it eventually became a seedy space where those in the know gathered to find a lady of the night. In fact, it became such a center for scandal that the city padlocked its door in 1978. For the next forty years, the space sat there waiting for someone to step in and restore it to its full glory, a wish that was granted when an LA investor named Sean Patrick decided to come Detroit to bring Willis back. 

Willis Show Bar reopened last May after 18 months of restoration and planning. This included taking ten weeks to restore the original Art Moderne style ceiling. The result is a gorgeous 3,000 square foot space that seats around 85 people. This includes a 28 seat bar and large booths that fit anywhere from 2 to 8 people at a time. In the center of the bar there is a small stage and every seat in the house faces it because Willis Show Bar is all about the show.  
Willis Show Bar is bringing back the art of entertainment by offering patrons much more than a place to have a high end cocktail. When you come by their bar you also get to see a live show performed by some of the city's top talent. This includes live music, burlesque, comedy, and more. Every night that they are open they feature a different type of entertainment for you to enjoy. The first time we went, we saw an amazing jazz singer and enjoyed a pop up dinner from Planthropie, a Detroit vegan catering company. The second time we went, we saw the owners of Rouge Makeup and Nails Studio take the stage to sing a duet. Both times we were blown away by the level of musical talent that we were able to enjoy for $5 at the door.

The bar carries a wide variety of beers, wines, and signature classic cocktails, including staples like the French 75. The space is dimly lit and when you arrive a hostess walks you through the curtains to a table where a waiter or waitress greets you and immediately takes your order. The entire experience is top notch from start to finish. The average cover to get in is $5, but it can be more for special events. Reservations are recommended as the space only seats 85 people per show. There are generally two shows a night and each time we visited, the entire experience lasted around 2 to 2 1/2.  This is the perfect place to take a date and an amazing way to celebrate an anniversary.  If you are looking for a lux night on the town and a way to see some of the most talented performers around, check out Willis Show Bar. They are currently open at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and they are located at the corner of Willis and Third in the city's Cass Corridor. 


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