Detroit Tigers Opening Day: Where to find food, drink deals downtown

Detroit Free Press

On Thursday, plenty of Detroit Tiger fans will head downtown for the home opener at Comerica Park. Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers is a big deal for fans, whether you go to the game or not.

The season opener is 1:10 p.m. at Comerica Park and has the Detroit Tigers hosting the Boston Red Sox.

But Opening Day is also a big deal for downtown Detroit area bars and restaurants. Many will be open hours ahead of game time.

More: Detroit Tigers have grand slam with this new item among Comerica Park’s new foods

And in honor of Opening Day, many places, especially those around the ballpark and the city’s downtown, will have food and drink specials, before, during and after the game.

On Thursday, Bookies Bar and Grill on Cass Avenue will be celebrating its 14th Opening Day party. This year, the bar is also celebrating 20 years in business. For six years, Bookies was located in the Book Tower building on Washington Boulevard before moving to its current location.

More: Detroit Tigers Newsletter: What makes Opening Day so special at Comerica Park?

More: Green Dot Stables, Taqueria El Rey, other local restaurants to serve food at Comerica Park

Owner John Lambrecht said planning for the party starts in January. At Bookies, its rooftop will be open and they will have heated tents set up.

“It’s the excitement of getting outdoors and watching baseball, which is great,” Lambrecht said. “It’s America’s pastime. It’s exciting to see everyone having a great time downtown. ”

Typically, Lambrecht said, nearly 3,000 people will come through Bookies doors on Opening Day.

Here’s a sampling of Opening Day specials. And if you’re going to the game, there are new food items to savor at Comerica Park, including a Sonoran hot Dog from Taqueria El Rey and barbecue fare from Bert’s Marketplace.

Anchor Bar

450 W. Fort St.

On Opening Day, the bar is hosting “Take me out to the ballgame, take me out the bar” all-day party. The iconic bar has been around since 1959 and will open at 9 a.m. on Opening Day. They’ll offer fans $3 shots, $4 draft beers, $5 well drinks and $6 craft beer while watching the game. On the food menu are $3 hot dogs.

For info:

Detroit Beer Co.

1529 Broadway St.

Just a short walk from Comerica Park, longtime Detroit Beer Co. has plenty of beer options that pair with its traditional bar offerings of burgers, twice-cooked chicken wings, sandwiches and main dishes. They will also have beer brats with house beer. A few special Tigers cocktails will also be a highlight. Doors open at 9 a.m. and stay open until 11 p.m. On the first floor it will be first come, first served. Plans are for its patio to be open.

For info: 313-962-1529 or

Bookies Bar & Grille

2208 Cass Ave.

The annual Opening Day party starts at 7 a.m. at Bookies, located about two blocks from Comerica Park. The heated tent opens at 8 a.m. There’s entertainment with rotating DJs inside and out. Its rooftop seating also will be open. A limited menu will feature burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and chips. They will also have plant-based Beyon burgers. Everything is set up to be grab-and-go, according to owner John Lambrecht. The cover charge for the bar is $20 inside the bar and tent party all day long.

For info: 313-962-0319 or

Detroit Home Opener Festival

440 Madison St.

This event is billed as “Detroit’s Largest Opening Day Party.” Doors open at 9 a.m. with the event set up at the corner of Madison and Brush streets. There will be heated tents, including beer tents and a full bar along with special menus. Local food vendors include Bart’s Pizza and Bro’s Burger Joint. The outdoor party features two stages of entertainment and more than 15 Detroit DJs. There are also bands, entertainment, food and games. Private reserved cabanas with a dedicated entry that also offer festival passes, private restrooms, and other items like premium spirits and beer are available. Tickets are $20 per person and upwards for VIP tickets and ticket packages. A portion of proceeds benefits Angel’s Share, according to its website.

For info: 248-671-4151 or

Elwood Bar & Grill

300 E. Adams

Located just steps from Comerica Park, doors open at 9 a.m. There’s a full bar, food, DJs, and outdoor patio space. Broadcasting on-site will be 94.7-FM WCSX. The Killer Flamingos will play live on the first floor of the Gem Garage. There will be a giant video screen airing the game. Elwood is located at the corner of Brush and East Adams across from Comerica Park and Ford Field.

For info: 313-962-2337 or

Grand Slam Festival

350 Madison Ave.

On the grounds of the Music Hall Amphitheater at the corner of Madison and Randolph streets, the Opening Day party begins at 9 a.m. Thursday. There will be big heated tents, DJs, beer tents, food trucks, a full bar, music, games and big screens for game-watching. Food trucks on site are Chicken Coupe Chicken & Waffles, Crazy Gringo Mexican and Motown Deli. Tickets start at $20 for general admission, VIP tickets are available that include four drink tokens and allow access to VIP entry, and access to bars, and restrooms.

For info: 248-543-1000 or

Hockeytown Cafe

2301 Woodward Ave.

This multilevel restaurant Opening Day tailgate party features music on the roof and a tent with a band on the patio. Doors open at 9 a.m. The menu will be limited. There’s a $10 cover charge.

For info:

Mootz Pizzeria + Bar

1230 Library St.

Within a five-minute walk to Comerica Park, the spot for New York-style pizza will have its full-service menu before or after the game. Mootz will open early at 10 a.m. Opening Day. Its menu has a wide selection of pizzas, starters, salads, pasta and more. On Thursday only they will offer a breakfast pizza. Mootz also has a to-go counter offering slices and cocktails. New at Mootz for dine-in is Moot Beer. Mootz partnered with Eastern Market Brewing Co. for the limited-edition craft beer featuring tangerine, basil, honey, and wheat notes.

For info:

Nemo’s Bar & Grill

1384 Michigan Ave.

An Opening Day party has been a tradition at Nemo’s since the mid-1960s. Doors open at 9 a .m. There will be a heated tent in the parking lot with entertainment starting at 3 p.m. Nemo’s is known for its ground-round burger and will serve it exclusively on Opening Day with fries. Shuttles to the game are available.

For info: 313-965-3180.

Parker’s Alley

The walkway behind the Shinola Hotel that stretches from Grand River to John R in downtown Detroit will be a happening spot. Along the walkway is Brakeman, Mister Dips and Penny Red’s. All three spots will open at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Mister Dips will be serving its limited edition “Eye of the Tigers” ice cream special in a mini baseball helmet. The ice cream is dipped in a coating and topped with blue, orange and white sprinkles. It’s available only on Thursday until they sell out. At the Brakeman beer hall, a DJ begins late in the afternoon and will be there until closing.

Penny Reds menu offers chicken sandwiches and buckets of chicken.

Tin Roof

47 E. Adams

Next to Comerica Park, Tin Roof has three levels plus a rooftop seating area. Doors open at 8 a.m. Thursday at this live music venue. Performances all day long by several bands. On the menu, Tin Roof is known for its Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. Its buttermilk fried chicken is rubbed with cayenne and served on Texas toast with ranch potato salad and pickles, according to its menu.

For info: 313-262-6114 or

Union Assembly

2131 Woodward

“There are people that stop in and bounce around the city of Detroit (on Opening Day),” he said. It’s really good for the city.”

Multilevel Union Assembly is on the ground floor of Little Caesars’ world headquarters. Its second-floor outdoor terrace has an elevated view of Comerica Park and Woodward Avenue. Doors will open at 8 a.m. There will be a DJ outside on Columbia Street along with a bar and a limited menu. An Opening Day breakfast menu including Union French toast and a breakfast pizza. will be served until 11 a.m. The Columbia Street menu offers hot dogs, burgers, cheeseburgers, smoked kielbasa, chips, pop and water.

For info:

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter. Subscribe to the Free Press.

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