Detroit has always been a night-time city, with its world-renowned music honed in late-night bars and clubs. But where do locals go to hear music, new and old, and dance the night away? Here’s our rundown of the best nightclubs in “America’s comeback city.”
In Pontiac, a northern Detroit suburb, Elektricity features star DJs spinning the best EDM two nights a week, promising nightlife to match the “best aspects of Las Vegas and Miami.” Each night offers something new, meaning you’ll have a different experience each time you visit. Those over 18 are welcome to attend all events.
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Bleu, in the heart of downtown, is a large and upscale club offering big nights out for fans of dance, hip-hop and electronic music. The decor and furniture feed into the high-end atmosphere, with plenty of booths for table service and a large VIP area, while its sound system befits the rest of the experience, with local and international DJs behind the decks.
The Grasshopper Underground describes itself as the “home of underground dance music”; you’ll find it in a basement on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale. Here, house and EDM events take place regularly, with big-name DJs often on the bill. The venue is intimate, with a lounge and bar area alongside the dark dance floor, and while the cover charge can sometimes be a lot, the drinks are not.
Called the Cheers of Detroit, TV Lounge is a place where everyone knows your name. It has partnered with Paxahau, the people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, so it’s a good place to see underground DJs and rising stars, as well as enjoy aftershow parties during the festival. There’s an outside area open in the summer, and the experienced bartenders are known for their cocktail-making skills.
If underground clubs aren’t your thing, Exodus in Greektown has just the opposite – it’s the only year-round indoor-outdoor lounge in Detroit. The rooftop club is among the most popular places to visit during the summer, allowing you to soak up the sights and sounds of the city while you dance to EDM music. The dress code can be strictly enforced.
Over in Ann Arbor, Necto features a range of weekly and special events. Across the week, every style of music is played, such as goth and industrial at Factory Mondays and Top 40, house and hip-hop at Frequency Saturdays. The club claims to be the “nightlife epicenter for University of Michigan’s campus,” so expect a college crowd. However, it serves a diverse group of people overall.
With a dramatic exterior featuring tall columns, it’s not hard to work out where this nightclub’s name came from, and the White House Detroit continues its themed decor inside, with additional white columns and a large atrium where booths and VIP sections flank the dance floor. It’s only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but it crams a lot of partying into that time frame.
The Annex has a state-of-the-art sound-and-lighting system and the AnnexAngels – the house “Bottle Babes” who even have their own Instagram account. Home of Rumba Caliente, one of the largest Latin nights in Detroit, this downtown nightclub has also hosted some of the biggest names in EDM and DJs from all over the world. In the summer, some of its nights move to its sister venue, 3Fifty Terrace.
The Delux Lounge and Bar has made a name for itself as one of the best party spots in the city. It’s open four days a week; Wednesday karaoke night is a big draw, along with other theme nights during the week, before DJs take over on the weekends, playing rock, pop and old-school music that attracts a mix of all ages. Drinks specials and prices, in general, are good.
We’ve already name-dropped 3Fifty Terrace, but the Annex’s sister venue is worth mentioning twice. High above the Motor City’s streets sits a 10,000sqft (929sqm) rooftop nightclub for dancing and drinking under the bright city skyline. The summer months get even hotter, with guest DJs pumping hip-hop and EDM tracks into the night. When the beat gets too hot, cool down with bottle service and relax on the comfortable couches in the VIP areas.