It’s a place to kick back, enjoy a craft cocktail, and learn a bit of Detroit’s nightlife history, but you have to find it first.
“You turn down the corner and you’re like in the back alley right, and you’re like, what have I gotten myself into. There’s this bright gold door with a little greenery just hanging below. Simply just ring that door bell, but once you open that door you’re kinda transformed into the speakeasy kind of era,” said Lynsay Barnes, Floor Manager for Willow Detroit.
Barnes explained how the ambiance of Willow Detroit pays homage to a time when black Detroiters flourished, and owned prominent businesses in areas like Paradise Valley, and Idlewild, in Northwest Michigan. That area allowed people of color to vacation and purchase land during segregation, many whom had Southern roots, which is how Willow got its name.
“Willow is the tree you see down south. It has deep rooted strong roots, that’s our main focus here, really bringing some southern history, Detroit history, into this intimate space,” Barnes said.
She also described the modern day speakeasy as a place that offers craft cocktails, that tells stories of their own, with every pour.
To see the entire interview, and for a sneak peak at this unique speakeasy, click the video above.