Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Park Bar a quiet addition to Detroit's growing Foxtown

Don't look for a screaming neon sign to announce you've finally found the Park Bar in downtown Detroit. There isn't one.

In fact, there isn't a sign at all. Just a white-brick and dark-glass building on a quiet little corner a few blocks from Comerica Park, precisely the kind of place that's helping the glow of Foxtown spread beyond Woodward. Cliff Bell's sits next door on Park Avenue; the Bucharest Grill - which serves up the Park Bar's grub - is next door on Elizabeth.

While the Park Bar seems content to keep quiet from the outside, inside they've built one of Detroit's cooler new taverns. The taps spew out everything from Michigan-made Arcadia Ales to grandpa's favorites like Pabst Blue Ribbon. For lunch, the Bucharest serves up diverse offerings such as Schnitzel Plate and hummus, as well as an assortment Americana hotdogs, including The Chicago, The Philly Dog, and, of course, The Detroiter.

The bar is also in the process of expanding its performing arts area upstairs. Currently, a homegrown play called "Detroit Be Damned: A Beaver's Tale" is playing through Dec. 18. And for weekly live music, the Park hosts Accoustified Wednesday.

If nothing else, the Park provides an excellent place to sit, enjoy lunch, and look across the street at the aging, crumbling Hotel Charlevoix, a stark reminder that Foxtown's glow still has plenty of hurdles to clear.