PJ's and Gracie's join forces on a nightly basis to saturate Southeastern Michigan with rotating genres of live and recorded music. Travel between the establishments without paying double cover, enjoying Gracie's eclectic mix of acts and PJ's spacious dance floor. Depending on the night, you may swing to a big band, sway to a rock group, or juggle the rave ball to the sounds of a DJ. Check the website for upcoming ear enticers. With your bucket of beers, you can raise a glass to a gleeful guitar solo or toast to a toe-tapping tympani roll. Scoop up this side deal for a cover-charge-less jaunt through two of Ann Arbor's most aurally aware bars.
Mélange's chefs merge European and Asian flavors and presentation techniques to construct a menu of elegant entrees flecked with contemporary American influences. Dishes unite high-quality proteins including Scottish Atlantic salmon and meats marinated with continent-crossing ingredients such as soy, yuzu, and miso, forging a gastronomic alliance as unique as a snowflake-flavored lollipop. A fleet of sushi rolls totes fresh seafood and umami-packed garnishes, and a cellar with more than 1,500 bottles of wine from France, Italy, and California accessorize any mouthful. Mélange's dining area draws inspiration from old Parisian restaurants, with bamboo furnishings bolstering the multicultural ambiance and 10-foot-tall booths fostering intimate conversing and adrenaline-fueled rappelling.
Voted Best Student Hangout and one of the best venues for live music and performances by the Kalamazoo Gazette, The Strutt presents crowd-pleasing American fare and nightly musical entertainment for stimulating study breaks or an evening out. The menus feature appetizers that include the black-bean-queso dip ($5.95), and heartier stomach stuffers, such as The Sloppy José, which puts a spicy, south-of-the-border spin on a classic dish ($4.95). Meanwhile, meat eschewers can chew on plentiful vegetarian options, including the roasted-veggie quesadilla ($5.95) or the Blue Apple salad, with apples, raisins, red onion, toasted almonds, and gorgonzola tossed in shallot vinaigrette ($6.95). A full bar, extensive beer list, and nightly drink specials complement any meal or musical act, and the plentiful brunch –– with live jazz on Saturday and bluegrass on Sunday –– and breakfast make this spot a go-to from day to day after.
War almost was not the name slapped across gold records such as The World is a Ghetto and Why Can’t We Be Friends? When the name was first suggested, as founding member Lonnie Jordan recalls, the band thought it might sound too radical. But then they reconsidered, Jordan says, and decided to “wage war with melody, rhythm, and harmony as our weapons and the songs as our ammunition. We spoke out against racism, hunger, gangs, and crime and fused rock, jazz, Latin, and R&B.”
Landmarks of standup for decades, Connxtions Comedy Clubs remain mainstays for up-and-coming comics and national stars, with a roster of past performers that includes Sinbad, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, D. L. Hughley, and Rob Schneider. Headlining comedians, many seen on national television, keep the venues teetering Thursday–Saturday nights, whereas Wednesday nights host improv spectacles and open mics where rookies can begin their ascent into stardom or descent into miming. While refueling chuckle tanks, duos and groups can split a savory appetizer, such as fried pickle spears or buffalo popcorn shrimp, or enjoy a potent cocktail at the bar.
Before they were household names, Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Allen, and Drew Carey were performers at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. The establishment, once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “one of the best clubs between the coasts,” has been corralling burgeoning stars to its stage since its 1984 inception when it was called Mainstreet Comedy Showcase. Several nights a week, nationally touring comedians who’ve graced the stages of Late Show with David Letterman and Showtime’s Comics Without Borders share witty observations, humorous songs, and intense eye contact with brave audience members in the front row.