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Best Places To See Local Musicians In Detroit

Detroit has a ton of music venues, ranging in size, location and the type of music played there. However, which are the best to go to see up-and-coming (or established) local talent? Check out this list to find out.
Goldfish Tea
117 W. 4th St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-5252

Goldfish Tea is located in downtown Royal Oak, and although its known for its tea, it also sells bubble tea, hot chocolate and coffee drinks, along with a plethora of snacks and desserts. The tea room has live music at night on the weekends, as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays. "Unplugged Tuesdays," from 7 to 9 p.m., are hosted by Dave Falk and are open mic nights featuring acoustic music; sign-ups occur in-person at 6:30 p.m. on the night of the performances. "Open Mic Thursdays," hosted by Dan Greene (and also 7-9 p.m.), are open to any (acoustic or non) performers, and sign-ups start at 6 p.m. on the day of the event.

Cliff Bell's
2030 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-2543

Cliff Bell's is a Detroit institution, hosting jazz music for quite a while now, so it's no surprise that it hosts a lot of local musicians as well. Last month, it hosted the MSU Community Music School, The Marcus Elliot Quartet and the Wayne State University Big Band, as well as drummers Jesse Kramer and Alexander White, all of whom are local musicians. The club also offers dinner and drinks off the extensive menu, and you can choose to sit at the bar or at a table, with the stage being towards the back of the restaurant. Make sure to check Cliff Bell's event schedule on its website to see if there's a cover fee for the day you are planning on going as well.

Cadieux Cafe
4300 Cadieux Road
Detroit, MI 48224
(313) 882-8560

The Cadieux Cafe is very diverse in that it's a cafe, a place where you can hear music, and it also houses featherbowling, a game similar to bocce. The cafe has a huge live music schedule, with many local acts as well. There is a $5 cover charge for Friday and Saturday night shows; otherwise, Sunday through Thursday shows don't have a cover charge unless specifically listed on the website. The bar and cafe is also 21+ on these nights. The cafe originally started as a Prohibition-era speakeasy, and it serves many Belgian beers in honor of its Belgian roots.

Related: Best Musicians In Detroit

PJ's Lager House
1254 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-4668

PJ's Lager House is located in Corktown and has gone by many other names since it opened in 1914, including Doemer Beer Garden (post-Prohibition), Doemer Brothers Tavern and The Doemer Tavern. Live music is played on weekends and sometimes on weeknights too (check the calendar on its website for details), and sometimes a cover fee is charged.

The Blind Pig
208 S. 1st St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 996-8555

If you're looking to hear some local music outside of Detroit, check out The Blind Pig, located on the edge of downtown Ann Arbor. The Blind Pig has an eclectic roundup of music and musicians pass through its doors yearly, some of whom are Michigan-bred. Check out the Ann Arbor Soul Club, which is actually a dance party, on June 3rd ($5, or $8 if you're under 21) at 9:30pm; you can also check out the full Blind Pig calendar here.

Related: Best Local Female Musicians In Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at and

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