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Firewater Bar & Grill Get your dancing shoes on and learn the Detroit Hustle

Firewater Bar & Grill

107 E. Milwaukee St., Detroit, MI 48202
  • Neighborhood: New Center & North Central
  • Price Level:   
  • Live Music
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: New Center, dancing, firewater-bar-grill, chicago-steppin, detroit-style-ballroom, detroit-hustle, mature

From the outside of this red brick building with no windows on the first floor, it’s hard to tell that there’s a serious dance party happening inside Firewater Bar & Grill.

Located on Milwaukee at John R. in New Center, Firewater hosts a mature crowd who love busting a move and appreciate a style that’s different from the bump-and-grind you’ll find in most nightclubs. This is not the kind of place where you’ll find twentysomethings crushing PRBs and shots of Fernet. It’s a spot that will make you want to splurge on a martini or Hennessey.

There’s a subtle “fireman” theme happening inside, a fire hydrant in the dining area and firefighter’s axe mounted behind the bar being the most notable accents. Once the lights go down and the dancing gets started, Firewater mostly just has a cool nightclub vibe.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn Detroit style ballroom or the Detroit Hustle this is the place to come. The Detroit Hustle is a quick-paced line dance. It’s much faster than the classic Hustle, but also way more fun once you learn the steps. Once you know the basic moves, you can start to put your own spin on it.

Firewater is also known for a style of dance called Chicago Steppin’. It’s a riff on swing dancing, and the basic steps are a double (two steps in place) followed by a two syncopated triples (a one-two-three step). The style originated in Chicago, but it’s popular in Detroit, too. Folks in Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C. also love this upbeat dance style.

If you’re not familiar with these dancing styles, don’t worry: Firewater offers dance lessons to help you get your groove on. A friendly, experienced instructor will teach you the basic rhythms and steps, then show you how to turn up the heat with some more advanced steps. You’ll have some time to practice on your own, then unleash your new moves on the dance floor. It’s best to call to find out what the daily schedule looks like any given week.

They often have a live band, which adds to the energetic atmosphere. It’s also super fun to dance to a live band. On nights when a DJ provides the beats, you’ll hear everything from modern R&B hits to classic Motown grooves. It’s exactly the kind of tunes you want to hear while you’re practicing all your new Chicago Steppin’ moves. There’s also a full dinner menu if you need to refuel mid-dance party.

You don’t have to be into dancing choreographed steps to enjoy Firewater. There’s plenty of opportunities to just freestyle and dance however you want, too. Or grab a table near the dance floor and just watch.

Special thanks to Matthew Scott for telling us about Firewater. You know all the secret hotspots. Let’s go dancing!


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