Madison's Pub owners envisioned a pub that had it all under one roof. So when they discovered a 100-year-old, three-story brick building nestled in downtown Mount Clemens, it seemed like the obvious choice to fulfill their dreams. Just beyond glass garage doors, they set up a large hardwood floor with enough room for their patrons to dance or herd elephants, and they peppered the bar with over a dozen high-definition plasma TVs and an eight-foot big-screen TV with surround sound for sports fans to follow the Tigers and Redwings. Owners also set up a smaller bar at the front of the building to give guests a quieter place to chat. As everyone's bound to work up a hunger from all the activity, the pub's chefs devised a menu of hearty burgers and sandwiches, as well as specialties such as mac ‘n’ cheese and beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. Named the Best Bar Patio by Real Detroit Weekly from 2009–2012, the large outdoor patio accommodates hundreds of pub-goers, with plenty of seating and shady umbrellas. The breezy space also boasts a grill, where pit masters barbecue affordable, tasty ribs and burgers to complement cold brews and fresh air. During warmer seasons, DJs spin tunes and unnecessary wool under the patio's hanging café lights.
At Your Mothers, feel-good pub fare keeps bellies balanced as patrons slurp down selections from a wide range of beer and spirits that lurk behind a bright wooden bar. While keeping an eye on the sports game, comrades cluster around baskets of twice-fried buffalo wings, licking one of 17 sauces—including six barbecue sauces and five fiery hot sauces—off their own fingers and friends’ faces. In addition to chicken sandwiches and burgers topped with bacon or olives and feta, the kitchen turns out grilled slabs of ribs tossed in house barbecue sauce. Thick pizzas, made with small-batch doughs and topped with family-recipe sauce, include a roasted-garlic-and-portobello variety and a caribbean chicken pizza, lightly garnished with jerk seasoning after being reeled in from Jamaican waters.
Like any respectable sports bar, TVs plaster the walls at Brooksy's, showcasing live football, baseball, basketball, and soccer games. The entertainment continues with a live DJ who leads trivia nights and beer-pong tournaments. Guests can refuel with an abundant supply of bottled beers and cocktails, as well as a variety of salads and sandwiches. The selection includes the behemoth Brooksy burger, with two patties and all the fixings stuffed between two grilled-cheese sandwiches and sided with golden-brown onion rings.
A hearty appetite is encouraged at Clancy’s Irish Pub, where a champion burger challenge bates mouths to down a 5-pound behemoth burger and a full pound of fries in less than 45 minutes. Only three customers have ever succeeded, and their pictures reside on Clancy’s wall of fame as a testament to their steely reserve and superhuman jaw strength. In addition to holding photos of these championship mugs, Clancy’s butter-hued walls come stippled with golden brown, as if prophesying the deep-fried goodliness of the menu’s jalapeño poppers and cheesy mozzarella sticks. Amid the glow of neon beer signs and flat-screen TVs, tables load up with pints from the bar’s selection of more than 50 brews, as well as pub classics such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and the cheese-and- bacon-slathered chicken Dubliner. After two-handing a signature Jack Daniels chicken sandwich, guests can partake of weekly events such as beer-pong competitions, trivia, and DJ dance nights.
Piper's Alley pairs a varied menu of made-from-scratch pub fare with almost 40 beers from around the world, including a variety from Michigan. The lunch specials—unlike sautéing a credit card—can please both one's palate and wallet; try the veggie melt with provolone cheese ($4.95). Meanwhile, the half-pound Alley burger ($8.99) bathes in a mix of marinara and guacamole before enrobing itself in four different types of cheese, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and applewood-smoked bacon. Marinated grilled chicken fajitas step to a stage of warm flour tortilla, sidekicked by an entourage of shredded cheese, sweet onions, tap-dancing bodyguards, and bell peppers ($10.99). Made-from-scratch cheesecake ($4.99) delivers a sweet finale to the meal. Alongside universal favorites, the beer menu showcases many of Michigan's brews; fill up a glass with the Mackinaw pale ale from the tap or sip on a bottle of the Bell's Seasonal.
Having been passed down through two generations of the Vettraino family, the Green Lantern Lounge is a pretty big heirloom. It even looks like one: since opening nearly six decades ago, the pizzeria has filled with sports memorabilia and old family photos. The Vettrainos honor the past in the kitchen as well, cooking pizzas with their original recipes that call for age-old techniques. These range from cutting thick, New York-style pepperoni from their links in natural casing to using a mammoth tusk instead of a rolling pin.
The hearty pepperoni pieces can be found on a few of Green Lantern's pies, including Tommy's Tantalizing Super Special with ham, mushrooms, and green peppers. Other popular menu items include the candy-coated bacon strips and the eponymous reuben, which features corned beef or turkey beneath a scoop of the restaurant's signature coleslaw.