Jim Brady’s Detroit is a Refined Classic

The arrival of Jim Brady’s Detroit in Royal Oak couldn’t have come at a better time.

We were looking for a new standby bar to break up the monotony of our local routine. We immediately fell in love with the new Jim Brady’s Detroit at 1214 South Main Street.

When you walk through the doors, it is like stepping back in time to a simpler day in Detroit’s history. The throwback vibe of the bar, vintage-style bar stools, old school colored cocktail swords, local street signs lining the booths, and pictures of the original Jim Brady’s in 1954 had us swooning.

As we posted up at the bar, we were greeted with top-notch service. Bar Manager, Larry, and our bartender/server, Marissa, shook our hands and introduced themselves, welcoming us with warm smiles. This was a unique touch that connected us with the establishment right from the get-go. It was easy to tell that management understood the importance of making a good first impression.

The cocktail menu featured traditional cocktails (Dark & Stormy, Old Fashioned, etc.) as well as a unique section featuring Michigan spirits and local products. We enjoyed The Blvd., Diamond Jubilee, ROAK-tail (made with ROAK Brewing Company’s Live Wire IPA) and Brady Bunch, but our favorite was the refreshing Cucumber Basil Gimlet. The cocktails were very reasonably priced.

Jim Brady's Detroit Royal Oak Michigan
Our favorite cocktail at Jim Brady’s Detroit was the Cucumber Basil Gimlet.

Thirsty for Michigan beer? We observed the usual suspects like Bell’s Two Hearted and Short’s Soft Parade. More in-depth offerings on tap included Frankenmuth’s The Hef, Keweenaw Widow Maker Black Ale, Blake’s Flannel Mouth Cider, and more.

After intently browsing the menu, we decided to start with a snack to accompany our cocktails. It was hard to decide what to order because everything on the menu sounded good. We opted for a plate of crispy Naked Tots because of the intriguing sauce options. The McClure’s Bloody Mary Ranch and the Faygo Rock N’ Rye BBQ were both home runs. Kudos to the mastermind behind these irresistible sauces.

As good as the Tots were, we have to talk about Diamond Jim Brady’s Special Sandwich. This no-frills burger was 8 oz. of juicy perfection. In an age with over-the-top burgers, we appreciated the simplicity of the classic Special Sandwich. The accompanying fries were crisp and tasty.

Jim Brady's Detroit Royal Oak Michigan
Diamond Jim Brady’s Special Sandwich.

Another favorite was the Basa Nova Fish Tacos. The three tortillas were stuffed to the gills (pun intended) with ROAK Mean Street Amber Ale battered Basa fish, slaw, pico, white cheddar and cilantro sour cream.

McClure’s Bloody Mary Ranch made another appearance on the Grilled Chicken Ciabatta Club we tried. The sandwich was executed perfectly.

We are not dessert people — we’d much rather drink our calories — but the selection at Jim Brady’s Detroit was tempting. The Boston Boulevard Cream Puff featured house-made Vernor’s ice cream and Sander’s hot fudge and caramel sauces. It was great to see the dedication to Michigan products, even on the dessert menu.

Our experience at Jim Brady’s Detroit far exceeded our expectations and will be a regular in our restaurant and bar rotation. For a throwback experience with great cocktails and food, Jim Brady’s Detroit gets our recommendation.

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