Picture a pub so packed with soccer fans that the ones lucky enough to have seats at the big, wooden bar can barely cheer without thwacking the people on all sides of them, and you’ll have some idea of what Dick O’ Dow's was like during the last World Cup. While such sporting events of such importance come only once every four years, the pub manages to maintain the fun-loving—and authentically Irish—atmosphere day in and out, in particular by enlisting live musical acts to perform as guests gulp pints of Guinness and solemnly discuss the latest Fun Street Journal. Even the party room suggests Old-World Ireland, with its stone fireplace, climbing ivy, and color palette of rich reds and browns. Here and in the main bar area, visitors feed on a full menu of traditional Irish fare, such as shepherd’s pie, irish stew, chicken pot pie, and bangers 'n' mash.
Voted best karaoke bar by Hour Detroit magazine three years in a row, Royal Kubo complements amateur entertainment with an extensive menu of Filipino fare and liquid libations. Appetizers and entrees such as lumpia shanghai, topping meat eggrolls with sweet-and-sour pepper sauce ($8.95), and pansit guisado, a mix of bihun rice noodles, pork, chicken, and shrimp ($10.95) please palates. Diners can also sink sharpened mouth knives on yakitori chicken, marinated in teriyaki sauce and served alongside garlic-fried rice ($9.95), or dive into kalderata baka, beef tenderloin swimming among veggies in a tomato-sauce sea ($10.95). Halo-Halo, a colorful concoction of shaved ice, leche flan, tropical fruit, and ice cream allays post-dinner doldrums ($5). On warmer days, diners can enjoy meals on Royal Kubo’s wood-sheltered patio or enjoy a cocktail of courage at the bar, lined with hanging beveled glass lamps, before taking the karaoke stage for a rousing rap rendition of “Greensleeves.”
7 Bar & Grill might be so named for good luck, or for the number of 60-inch flat-screen televisions on the walls, but either way it sounds like some place you want to be. As the TVs broadcast sports games and other programs, visitors tip back 16-ounce drafts. On the surface, the place seems nothing more than a congenial spot to cheer on your favorite team, and perhaps indulge in a cocktail. The menu, however, reveals its devotion not just to traditional pub snacks, but also to restaurant-style meals.
The signature burger here isn't a simple lettuce-tomato-onion affair—it's built instead with provolone cheese, red pepper relish, and portobello mushrooms. If you crave a challenge, you might opt for the Big Boss, which puts two quarter-pound Angus patties on a three-layered bun. Other pub staples include cheese fries and chicken wings. The menu then steers into hearty territory with full dinners of lamb chops or rib eye steak. Though fish 'n' chips is indeed available, you can go a tad fancier by ordering a plate of seared Scottish salmon, or by eating the shrimp scampi out of a top hat. A list of nine specialty pizzas even features a shrimp pizza, dappled with red peppers, red onions, and herbs.
Staffed by a team of trained massage therapists who have experience working with Olympic athletes and the Detroit Lions, SowGood Pamper Lounge performs over ten different types of massage. During signature warm Swedish treatments, bodies are draped in chamomile-infused hot towels that help loosen muscles and melt away the ice that forms around the hearts of those working in customer support. Deep-tissue, sports, and hot- or cold-stone treatments can help relieve back pain or chronic aches. In addition to standard massage treatments, the staff also specializes in lypossage, a noninvasive alternative to liposuction, and offers personal training.
Within a dining room described as "intimate yet roomy" by the Lansing State Journal, Claddagh Irish Pub recreates Irish traditions as its friendly staff serves a plethora of authentic treats. Stomachs reminisce about fireplace fixin's with dinner options such as the Paddy Mac ($8.99), a layering of hot corned beef, coleslaw, and swiss cheese on a slab of marble rye. Ravenous patrons can munch on Shamrock wings, chicken wings tossed in Claddagh's signature sauce ($8.99). The weekday lunch special ($5.99 per entree) showcases fare such as the Jameson burger, a third-pound steak burger topped with onion straws, Jameson sauce, and cheddar-cheese sauce, all atop a toasted roll. The pub's colorful décor celebrates Irish rebelliousness and historically low paint prices with warm stone fireplaces and archways, giving patrons a home away from the homeland.
Fifth Avenue delights rabid sports fans and neutral noshers alike with a late-night menu of classic pub fare, brews, and entertainment. Thirty-five flat-screen televisions stimulate optic and otic synapses with a lively stream of sport spectatorship, while hardworking cooks toss, toast, and top house specialty V.I.Pizzas ($10–$13) and assemble 3-D edibles into the wee hour of 2 a.m. Pique appetites under the tutelage of cheese-gilded nacho platters ($7), or pit dueling bread stix and cheese stix ($6 each) against each other in oral arenas. Competitive canines sink luxuriously into cheeseburgers ($7) or caesar salads ($5), while New York–style cheesecake ($5) and globes of vanilla-flecked ice cream ($2.50) tuck sweet teeth into sugar-kissed slumbers.
Cousins Elias Hajjar and Nicholas Aubrey take yearly trips back to Lebanon to visit their family, but they can eat authentic Lebanese cuisine without leaving the confines of their own restaurant. With Gemmayze, which is named after a bohemian neighborhood in Beirut, they "wanted to create not only a menu that exemplified what's happening in Beirut and Lebanon right now, but we wanted to re-create the atmosphere,” Hajjar said in a Detroit Metromix article. “So the colors on the walls and ceiling are light and very clean and refreshing, and the menu reflects that as well.”
Inside the multi-level dining room, dangling lights twist like a strand of DNA above tables topped with shareable plates of hummus, grape leaves, and kibbe nayee—minced raw meat with bulgur and spices. Each dish is made from scratch using recipes that date back generations. Nearby, decorative palm tree appliqués cling to windows and a large brushed metal frame displays a variety of vintage forks, which can only be wielded by the rightful ruler of England. After dinner, patrons can move into the lounge and perch atop comfy ottomans and banquettes swaddled in rich fabrics while sipping wine or a cocktail.