Michigan’s Oldest Bar, 2-Way Inn in Detroit Was Once A Brothel, Dance Hall and Jail
Detroit’s 2-Way Inn is a legendary establishment that claims to be one of Detroit’s oldest bars. The bar itself was established in 1876. Since then it has become a staple attraction in the Detroit area, but it’s the lore of the building itself that makes it so popular. It’s easy to say that it has changed quite significantly over the years.
But this establishment is legendary for not only being Michigan's oldest bar but for how many different things this small building on the corner of Nevada & Mt Elliot has shifted into. It's been almost EVERYTHING you can think of, from a brothel...to a JAIL.
There is more they continue to discover about their building, which has been family-owned since the 70s, as they reflected on an early 1900s photo:
Upstairs from the saloon was a dance hall, brothel, inn, doctor's office and dentist office. The basement was used as a jail and the pool room was the general store. Original floor from 1870 and the original back bar is made out of American chestnut which now is extinct. You can't see from this picture but on the Nevada side there was a balcony which would be in the dance hall. There's a white kitty cat on the bar steps. So much history.
Apparently, during Prohibition time, the Inn was apparently owned by a dentist, who could LEGALLY prescribe alcohol, which is a nice little work-around.
Have you ever visited the 2-Way Inn? They've reached out and gotten a taste of the west side of the state, having shared their enjoyed experience of trying Sweetwaters donuts from Battle Creek for the first time. It's only fair we show them some love as well.
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