Woodbridge Pub holds a special place in my heart. It’s the first restaurant I went to in the city as an adult and was a catalyst in sparking my passion for Detroit. I’d always loved the city but it wasn’t until I started working downtown that I began to hang out here. When my co-workers took me to Woodbridge a few years ago it was a bit of an anomaly. The founder, Jim Geary, restored the abandoned location using predominately salvaged material and created a space that could be found in any major city (or in the case of Metro Detroit – a suburban downtown). For me, Woodbridge broke down the stereotype that places in the city are old and run down.
Woodbridge Pub is a neighborhood restaurant. Woodbridge the neighborhood is densely populated with a diverse group of residents. The historic neighborhood is walking/biking distance to the city’s core (Downtown, Midtown, New Center and Corktown). The strong sense of community carries over into the restaurant. The atmosphere is very friendly and I decided to ask my standard Detroit questions to the bartender, Robert.
Do you live in Detroit?
No. I did for 7 years. It was sad to get pulled out [we’ll categorize the reasons using Facebook’s ‘it’s complicated’], I loved living here.
What do you like about the city?
There is plenty of character. People are very personable, you just have to show that you care and be respectful. It’s a great place: lots of young people, bike friendly, easy to travel. People that live here are trying to make it better.
What would you like to see improved?
I would like to see less segregation. That’s a big thing in this city. I wish it wasn’t so patchy – especially the neighborhoods. You can go through one good neighborhood and then all of a sudden there is a patch of this bad neighborhood. This bad neighborhood doesn’t want to change because they’re afraid and the good neighborhood doesn’t want to change because they’re afraid. I’d really like to see less segregation in this city. There is a lot going on and I’m sure it will change but it’s a big thing. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of time for people to get along and appreciate each other.
What’s your favorite drink on the menu?
Tuesday afternoons I have an Afternoon Delight – it’s our Happy Hour. I do craft cocktails, this is the second menu I’ve designed.
Robert kindly made Danny and I a couple of his favorite signature drinks and they are fantastic! I highly recommend trying them out. I loved them both but the Silver Bullet was my favorite – I’m a sucker for anything blue.
Del Maguey Mezcal, Pineapple Basil Habanero Shrub, Cointreau, Splash of Soda, Angostura Bitters, Lime Zest
Bombay, Creme de Violette, Lemon, Honey Simple Syrup