Serving up delicious German food and classic German beers is something Jacoby's has been doing for a long time. Since 1904 to be precise, which makes Jacoby's one of the oldest bars in downtown Detroit.
It got its start thanks to a popular bartender named Albert Jacoby. As the story goes, he was a well-liked bartender for a local hotel in downtown Detroit. He was shown the building and was interested in starting a restaurant, but he needed someone to cook the food. There was a pretty girl who worked in the hotel kitchen whom he liked, so he made her a deal. According to the current owners, he said, "I like you... you like me/// I can tend bar... you can cook... let's get married and do this deal!" So, Albert and his new wife, Minna, opened Jacoby's in 1904.
Since Minna was German, she added German favorites to the menu, like jagerschnitzel and rouladen. They also serve up classic bar food like burgers and wings, but most people tend to prefer the traditional German fare. They also have over 100 German beers, with 20 on tap to give you that authentic German experience.
Over the years, the restaurant has changed hands, but the current owners, Ali Faraj and Adam Gilezan, have had their eye on this place for a while.
"Who wouldn't want a piece of downtown? Especially... a place that has been here since 1904," said Faraj.
They worked hard to keep and restore the historical elements of the bar including the beautiful tin ceiling and artfully crafted original bar. The community has helped them keep the history and the traditions alive by sharing their stories and pointing out what was important to them.
"I try to get information from people about my own place. So, I just have conversations with customers, I shake hands, and I just sit with customers and be like, 'yeah, tell me a story, what do you know about this place?" said Faraj. " You learn something new every day."
Jacoby's is located at 624 Brush St. in Detroit.