Highland Park Opens First Bar in Decades [PHOTOS]

As WDET previously reported, it’s been decades since anyone can remember a bar in Highland Park. That is changing tonight with the official opening of Woodward Ave. Bar & Grille.

George Smith is one of the managers of the establishment. He says the upscale sports bar and music venue will fill a void in Highland Park.

It means that our people, people in the community, don’t have to go downtown to have somewhere nice to sit and have a drink or listen to some music,” said Smith.

Woodward Ave. Bar & Grille (not to be confused with an iconic Detroit gay bar of a similar name) is owned by Lawrence J. Johnson, a longtime Highland Parker and crane operator at U.S. Steel. He bought the building in 2017 and did most most of the renovations himself.

The space includes a pool table, a small dance floor and outdoor patio seating. Live music will be Wednesdays and DJ nights will kick off with “Thirsty Thursday” and run through Saturday.

The red carpet was rolled out for an invitation-only soft opening Wednesday night. The venue was packed with attendees, including Mayor Hubert Yopp. He said he’s excited to come back and patronize the new establishment.

We have city hall just a couple doors down. We have no place to eat lunch really in the area. This is going to be fantastic. We can have lunch and in the evenings after a hard day we can relax and have a drink,” said Mayor Yopp.

A local sweet shop, Cakes and Shakes, opened on Woodward Avenue last fall. Mayor Yopp said he hopes these newly opened establishments will inspire more businesses to open where people can hang out.

Woodward Ave. Bar & Grille is located at 12000 Woodward Ave., Highland Park, MI 48203. The hours are 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Monday – Saturday, 12 p.m. -12 a.m. Sunday.

Scroll Down for Photos from the Soft Opening

WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg


Image credit: WDET/Laura Herberg

About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

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