Holiday hot spots: Where to hang out downtown Detroit

As downtown Detroit grows, more and more hot spots are popping up around the city.

Kellie Rowe here. I've lived downtown for three years now. You've probably heard of ice skating at Campus Martius next to the big Christmas tree, but I've got some suggestions on some cool newer places to check out next time you're downtown.

The Cadillac Lounge
My hands-down favorite winter spot. Located right across from Campus Martius, the Cadillac Lounge is a giant tent that opens just for the holidays from late November through February. It’s a winter wonderland that makes you feel like you’re sitting at a ski lodge Up North. The couches and pillows and blankets and warm lighting just make for this cozy feel. You can sip on a specialty drink like a spiked hot chocolate called Santa’s Little Helper or bring your family to play giant Jenga or Scrabble. Right outside are pop-up shops and several large bonfires to warm up with family and friends.

Capitol Park
When I first apartment shopped downtown, this small area was desolate. Now? Vibrant and popping. During the holidays, it becomes home to a handful of pop up shops in small, geometric structures that feature several Detroit or Michigan-based businesses. It’s a great area to pick up specialty and unique holiday presents for friends and family, or even a Christmas tree at the mini farm. Make a day of it -- there are dining options right next door including Eatori for stylish food and drinks, or some Italian at La Laterna. 

Evening Bar in the Shinola Hotel
Ever read or watch the Great Gatsby and kick yourself for being born in the wrong era? The Evening Bar in the brand new Shinola Hotel will transport you back in time. The smaller, stylish bar looks like a fancy cabin of cruise ship and the imagery is similar to the iconic eyes on the cover of the book. The cocktails are nice and the mood is hip. The crowd is always different and usually includes a lot of travelers staying at the hotel. This place is very hot right now. After your drink, take a stroll through the ornate lobby and check the place out.

The Brakeman and Penny Red’s
Hungry, but also want a nice craft beer? The Brakeman and Penny Red’s opened this spring and undoubtedly became the newest, trendiest spot for the young adult crowd - though it’s cool for anyone. You purchase tokens near the front door and redeem them for beer at the bar. If craft beer’s not your thing, there’s a second bar serving up cocktails (one Old Fashioned please!) in the back. The bar is nice, but there’s some upscale beer pong going down and the ceiling is also lined with TVs so you don’t miss the game. The best part? It’s connected to Penny Red’s -- a famous friend chicken spot, with honey-butter biscuits, local farmstead sides. Beyond good.

Mootz Pizzeria
Mamma mia! Nothing like some nice, warm pizza on a cold, dreary day. Less than a year old, Mootz Pizzeria and Bar features a menu by a six-time World Pizza Games champion named Bruno DiFabio. You can find authentic New York pizza, pasta, hoagies, salads and good drinks all in one spot. If you're looking for something on the go, they've got a by-the-slice-only counter called Side Hustle.

POPHOUSE - The Story
It's a cozy winter space called "The Story" located at 1001 Woodward, right across from Campus Martius. The free public space is a good place to hang out or even have a meeting, with comfy seating areas, large tables, a postcard making station and a café anchored by Dessert Oasis.Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the area also highlights an aroma created by Detroit Wick that emphasizes a Hygge theme, which is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfort, while also content and well.

Courtesy of Bedrock