From the outside of the bar, the Willis Show Bar doesn’t look like anything special. With a lit sign above the curved entrance that just says “Bar”, the outside doesn’t reveal the gem that is inside and waiting for guests. Past the front door air lock, you still don’t get a look at what is waiting for you.
Step through the velvet curtains and you find yourself transported back to a 1940’s jazz bar. Beautifully recreated from original photos, you wouldn’t know that the space wasn’t original from artwork, tables and even the chairs.
On most week nights, the Willis Show Bar is just an ordinary bar with a curated play list of jazz and big band music. With a hint of old record smell and brass oil, a visit will take you back in time just from scents alone. But on the weekend, Willis Show Bar is a completely different venue. On the central stage is a four person jazz band that will not only play you live music that you can enjoy, but a burlesque dancer will perform throughout the space engaging the audience as she dances.
With a unique menu of small snacks and cocktails, Willis Show Bar is changing how you would normally experience a bar. During Black History Month they are rolling out drinks inspired by famous African Americans from our past. Find a favorite drink? Let your server know and they will add it to your profile. Your favorite drinks can be delivered right to your table once you get to the show bar or just kept on file for a more tailored experience.
With a front forward table arrangement, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Guests will find unique drinks, live music and a fun atmosphere, the Willis Show Bar may be one of the best kept secrets in Detroit. Bring an out of town visitor to experience the show bar, or come in later to take in a show or two. You will find yourself drawn to the unique drink options, a step back in time a place where you can relax and enjoy a different show or experience each and every night.
The Willis Show Bar is located at 4156 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201. Visit their website for more information and show schedule.
About Willis Show Bar:
Willis Show Bar sits on the corner of Willis and Third in Detroit’s Historic Cass Corridor. Reborn as an upscale cabaret and cocktail bar, Willis Show Bar has been revived from its early “Show Bar” era. First opening in 1949, it was a hot spot jazz club until it closed its doors in 1978. The legendary bar lives again in its original Art Moderne style ceiling and floorplan that captures the attention of every seat in the house. The very unique main stage is still behind the bar and features live music along with cabaret performers, burlesque dancers, deejays and comedians.
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