Inside a Bar Once Used By the Purple Gang for Rumrunning: Detroit, Michigan
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
Sitting in disarray at 8427 W. Jefferson Avenue in Detroit's Delray neighborhood sits the deserted Ideal Bar.
According to comments on the Bikes, Books & a Little Music webpage, this classic old tavern was once the hangout of Michigan's infamous Purple Gang who used the facility for rumrunning and harboring illegal booze. Keeping busy during Prohibition, there was an underground tunnel that started from a dock behind the bar on the Rouge River, under W. Jefferson Avenue, and into a warehouse, where the booze was transported in this fashion. This tavern played an incredibly huge part in the conveying & passaging of alcohol...for so many people who know about it after all these years, it's kind of surprising authorities let it go on for so long.
The booze was shipped from Canada, down the river, and to the warehouse. Also, in 2009, part of the 2013 Danny Glover film “Highland Park” was shot inside the Ideal Bar. In the photo gallery below, there are a few scenes from the film.
Closed since the mid-1980s, the bar amazingly still stands and doesn't look that bad inside. Going down into the basement, there's another sub-basement that could have been used for storing the illegal alcohol. Nothing down there now but a few pipes and water puddles. This sub-basement is where the underground tunnel passed through on its way under the street and to the warehouse.
Now take a look inside!
The Ideal Bar, Once Used By the Purple Gang for Rumrunning
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