Nancy Whiskey A Neighborhood Pub That Rose From The Ashes
2644 Harrison St, 48216
- Neighborhood: Corktown & Southwest
- Price Level:
- Open for: Lunch, Dinner, Weekends, Late Night
- Live Music
- Outdoor Patio
- Cards Accepted
Located in what was formerly a residential home on Corktown’s north end, Nancy Whiskey has all the charm of a neighborhood dive without any of the dinginess that sometimes comes along with it. Even the bathrooms are incredibly well-kept.
This corner Irish pub has been throwing Detroit’s longest-running party since 1902. It’s a must-visit on any bar crawl or trip to Corktown.
Nancy’s has changed hands over the years but retained what may be Detroit’s oldest liquor license. Aside from the Prohibition days, when the owners operated a speakeasy, the license has been active for 110 years. Husband and wife team Eva Reyes and Gerald Stevens purchased Nancy Whiskey in 2006 and have been operating this friendly establishment ever since.
The interior space is compact, with capacity for just 49, and is usually packed on weekends. The well-kept secret of this little Irish pub is that it’s one of the best places in the Motor City for live blues music. Regulars pour in to hear local blues and R&B artists on Friday and Saturday nights, save for the second Saturday of each month when a more industrial, post-punk sound takes the stage.
A devastating fire in 2009 left Nancy’s closed for almost a year. With most of the original memorabilia lost in the fire and only the outside shell of the first floor remaining, the pub was rebuilt and is better than ever. A backyard patio is currently in the works, which will be made from bricks engraved with the names of sponsoring patrons.
While Nancy’s tends to be lively and boisterous on weekends, during the week it’s a laid back spot to hang out and linger over a drink, preferably a beer and a shot of Irish whiskey. We like Whiskey Wednesdays, when the jukebox is free and the drink specials are rock-bottom ($1 PBR and $3 Jameson). Stop by tonight and watch the game on one of Nancy’s five TVs.
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