Posts Tagged ‘Hamtramck’

This article previously ran in Real Detroit Weekly Magazine

Your comfort zone just got wider

By John Horn

Ever walk in to a bar and get the stink eye from its patrons? Or maybe an unpleasant response (if any) from the bartender? Yeah, that’s not going to happen at the Belmont Bar in Hamtramck. Far from it, actually.

Rest assured that after a few minutes, you’re going to be as comfortable in that bar as if it were your own living room.

Co-owner Darren Grow said that entire phenomenon is by design. If the Belmont is anything, it’s comfortable and unpretentious.

“It starts with myself, my partner and the staff in that we are sociable and that we like to make people comfortable,” Grow says. “You can come in and it seems that regardless of what’s going on, after five minutes, you’re going to be pretty comfortable.”

And why wouldn’t you? It’s a neighborhood bar filled with regulars but isn’t exactly clique-y. Grow, co-owner Mark Hausner, and bartenders Chris Tait, Laura Gregory and Heatherley Howard make sure there’s no funny vibe in the Belmont. Instead, they focus on behaving like real people in a real bar, and not pull some fake bullshit trip on you.

Weekends at the Belmont showcase live music on Fridays and Saturdays, with a consistency of mainly rock and punk, in that order. Grow adds that they also see a little metal, a limited amount of hip-hop, folk, funk and even a bit of jazz. For the most part, though, expect a steady diet of rock, garage rock and other iterations of that timeless genre.

If the steady diet of amplified goodness isn’t enough for you, plenty of bar diversions abound at the Belmont, including displays of artwork for sale by local creatives, a pool table, video bowling machine and the always-exalted Mega-Touch.

Drink-wise, the Belmont is assuredly a shot-and-beer type of bar, emblematic of most blue-collar neighborhoods. Grow said that while they sell a lot of PBR and shots of Jameson and Jagermeister, arguably their signature drink is the very icon of most Hamtramck bars: blackberry brandy.

“It’s a staple,” Grow says. “If you walk into a Hamtramck bar and they don’t have that chilled and ready to go, something is wrong.”

You know what’s entirely right? Sunday nights at the Belmont, that’s what. Got the Sunday blues, do you? Dreading that Monday morning? Come, take your mind off all of it on Sunday nights as Tait rolls out his signature Bacon Bloody Marys. Yes, you read that correctly. Bacon.

Grow wouldn’t divulge the entire recipe, but he did mention that the bacon is fried up and blended in with certain seasonings.

“That has become a very big hit,” Grow says.


Read Full Post »