The 8 Coolest Bars in Detroit - December 4, 2013
“There really is only one Cliff Bell’s, and luckily it’s here. This is the spot for a classy date night, dirty martinis, and snappy jazz. It feels like it could still be the ‘30s, except you’re not wearing a suit and no one’s discussing economic depression. Well, no one’s wearing a suit. The dress may be more casual, but the cocktails have only improved.” - Jeff Waraniak, Thrillist
Playboy Picks Cliff Bell’s as one of America’s Best Bars – July/August 2012
For one full year, Playboy sends their reporters all over the country searching high and low for some of America’s Best Bars. Referring to Cliff Bell’s as “the works, just as it was way back when,” Playboy gives a nice shout-out to our “stiff drinks, great jazz and Motor City Magic.”
Cliff Bell’s wins two awards in Hour Magazine’s annual “Best of Detroit” issue. Voted ‘Best Jazz Club’ and ‘Best Place for a Nightcap After the Show,’ Cliff Bell’s is honored to be included with all other nominees and winners. Click on the link above for the full list of 2012 winners.
“Detroit surprises… So do its residents…” – 2/25/2012
At least that is what NYDailyNews.com writer Robb Todd says he discovered during his three-day visit to Detroit in December. Todd recently wrote an article talking about the resurgence occurring in Detroit. He references the hard-working, friendly Detroiters he met along his travels as well as the spirit that exists in the city and continues to be prominent in local businesses including Cliff Bell’s.
CLIFF BELL’S FEATURED ON AHEALTHIERMIGHIGAN.ORG – 1/17/2012
This week Cliff Bell’s receives a mention from Sven Gustafson in his article on ahealthiermichigan.org. The article is directed at visitors to the North American International Auto Show. Gustafson talks about a variety of healthy ways to approach the Auto Show including a brisk walk to the entrance gates and Cliff Bell’s menu. Bring the whole family into Cliff Bell’s before the show for lunch specials or work-up an appetite for dinner while at the show.
VW CELEBRATES RECORD SALES YEAR AT CLIFF BELL’S – 1/12/2012
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn wanted to do it himself: “8.156 million passenger cars,” said the 64-year-old manager in a corner of Cliff Bell’s, a Detroit jazz club referring to 2011′s final sales result. And because not all listeners could hear him over the loud music, Winterkorn proceeded to write the number on a note pad, followed by a celebration of the the record result with the other Volkswagen top managers and their guests…
WELCOME AUTO SHOW MEDIA TO DETROIT – 1/11/2012
It’s the beginning of Auto Show week events here in Detroit. Nearly 300 guests joined Volkswagen Group of America at Cliff Bell’s on Sunday evening for the 2012 media reception, including the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning. Lindsay Chappell reporting for autonews.com, gives Cliff Bell’s a nod in his article about the event.
A DRESS MADE OUT OF MENUS – 1/10/2012
Cliff Bell’s has added its own unique twist to 1920s classic dress styles by teaming up with local paper dress designer Matthew Richmond. Dresses made for Cliff Bell’s by Richmond include the pin up girl dress made out of Cliff Bell’s menus and a flapper dress made out of brochures and VHS tape. Richmond has now designed more than 100 unique paper dresses. His dresses have been in multiple exhibits and fashion shows all over metro Detroit. 2012 is already shaping up to be a big year for Richmond, with his paper dresses making headlines in local and national news. Be sure to keep an eye out for a Cliff Bell’s paper dress at events around town.
Steve Byrne is the arts & entertainment editor for the Detroit Free Press. In a year-end review, Byrne lists his favorite thing’s in 2011. Byrne cites the “sophisticated atmosphere” and “beautiful art deco decor” as reasons Cliff Bell’s made his aristocratic list. Byrne also said “Cliff Bell’s really seemed like the place to be in 2011.” Come in this week to try Steve’s favorite drink – the Hemingway.
More than six months worth of meticulous restoration was required to bring the Stienway grand piano, originally purchased by the city of Detroit in 1960 for Cobo Hall, back to life after being discovered in a warehouse in Detroit where it had been stored for 25 years. Dedicated to the late Steve Richko, the piano now stands in shining elegance under the lights of the Cliff Bell’s stage. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, the dedication event for the piano was held. The evening began with pianist Mike Jellick christening the piano with two solo pieces and afterward told the room that it was among the top five pianos he’d ever played. The event was very well attended by Jazz musicians of all generations and a deep roster of pianists lined up all night to play the instrument. The restoration of the piano was completed by Piano Crafters located in Plymouth.
CLIFF BELL’S HOME OF DETROIT’S FAVORITE MAC & CHEESE Motown MacDown – 12/8/11
Numerous local restaurants and businesses joined together for the first annual Motown MacDown in support of Justin’s Vision, an organization dedicated to helping children life threatening illnesses enjoy a happy, carefree vacation experience, along with their families, that they’ll cherish for all time. From the Cliff Bell’s kitchen Chef Matt brought his house specialty recipe featuring a crock of creamy rich noodles topped with toasted Ritz crackers and brought home the People’s Choice award.
CLIFF BELL’S TO ADD LUNCH, NEW HAPPY HOUR Detroit News – 7/22/11
Starting Aug. 2, popular jazz club Cliff Bell’s will begin opening for lunch. The bar and restaurant will offer a special lunch menu Tuesdays-Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The new bill of fare features French-inspired items such as quiche Lorraine with salad ($9), shrimp and grits with roasted chilies ($13), gourmet salads and sandwiches ($6-$14) and sides like mac and cheese and pomme frites (both $4).
Cliff Bell’s has also announced a new happy hour menu with food and drink specials. From 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, patrons can enjoy snacks such as bacon bites or cherry pepper poppers ($3-$7) and $2 domestic draft pints.
BLOG: JAZZ ROOTS I Dig Jazz – 7/24/11 Charles L. Latimer
CLIFF BELL’S AGAIN NAMED HOUR’S “BEST JAZZ CLUB IN DETROIT” Hour Magazine – June 2011
For a second consecutive year Hour Detroit Magazine readers voted Cliff Bell’s the best Jazz Club in Detroit. ”This past February we celebrated our fifth anniversary of re-opening the doors of Cliff’s to the city, and it has been simply amazing to see the continued positive response from the region. I am truly thankful to all our patrons, and everyone who has had a hand in bringing this gem back to Detroit. We were able to finally put the finishing touches on our major renovations to the club this past winter, and I’m looking forward to a few more projects we have in the works to continue keeping Cliff Bell’s as the city’s premiere destination for great music, dining, and drinks” said co-owner, Paul Howard. To celebrate their 2011 awards Cliff Bell’s participated in the at the annual Hour Best of Detroit Party held at Motor City Casino where guests were able to sample a few test dishes that will be featured in the new lunch menu beginning in August of this year.
MEMORIAL DAY MEANS GRILLIN’: Tips & Recipes From 5 Great Michigan Restaurants A Healthier Michigan – Sven Gustafson 5/25/11
“Something that I do, I use a lot of grape-seed oil,” Baldridge said. “It’s healthier for you as opposed to using butter: The flashpoint on it is a lot higher, so you can get higher temps before you get that carbon on it. I use sea salt, too, which is better than the iodized (version), it’s a lot healthier.”
Baldridge says he likes to grill raw vegetables at home, including shallots, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms left whole, harder root vegetables like carrots and parsnips and Michigan asparagus, which is in season now. He’ll toss them in grapeseed oil and sea salt, wrap them in tin foil and roast them on the grill. When finished, he likes to serve them right out of the foil package.
Fruit also works well on the grill, Baldridge says. Slice stone fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines in half, remove the pits, toss them in grapeseed oil, a little salt and some sugar. Grilled peaches pair well with pork tenderloin in summertime, he said.
“In the summertime, I’ll put pretty much anything on the grill,” Baldridge said, including salmon and tuna. Lighter, flaky fish (such as lake perch or walleye) should go in a foil wrap with holes poked in it to allow for a smoky, charred flavor.”
A DETROIT WEDDING Style Unveiled – 5/28/11
Take a peek into a vintage Detroit themed wedding held at Cliff Bell’s.
JAZZ IT UP AT CLIFF BELLS New York Times – Jennifer Colin 5/5/11
“Cliff Bell’s, which first opened in 1935, is one of the oldest supper clubs in Detroit; after years of meticulous renovations, it is once again the place to be. With its Art Deco décor, vaulted ceilings, mahogany bar and mirrored walls, to say nothing of the live jazz ensembles, entering Cliff Bell’s is like walking onto the set of a Fred Astaire film…” Full story covering 12 other Detroit hot spots: 36 Hours in Detroit
BLOG: PLACE 9: CLIFF BELLS So How About This – 4/16/11
THE RESTORATION OF AN OLD DETROIT JAZZ CLUB Michigan Radio – Mark Brush 4/8/11
“Cliff Bell’s is one of the oldest Jazz clubs in the city. Like a lot of places in Detroit, it was left empty for a long time. The plaster cracked, the ceiling leaked, but that all changed in 2005 when Paul Howard and Scott Lowell began the renovation of the shuttered club. In this video, the owner of the building that houses Cliff Bell’s talks about the restoration of the club.”
BUZZ: GEORGE CLOONEY FILMS AT CLIFF BELL’S Kage Blog – 3/9/11
More photos via: justjared
BLOG: SLAMMED AT THE MOTH STORY SLAM The Idler – Lindsey Malta 3/8/11
BLOG: DETROIT’S HISTORY SHINES THROUGH AT CLIFF BELL’S Foodies Across Borders – 1/15/11
BLOG: NICK AND NORA AT CLIFF BELL’S The Great Lakes Gazette – Kathy Usitalo 12/8/10
BLOG: BRINGING METRO DETROITERS TOGETHER THROUGH JAZZ The Detroit Hub – Ashley Hennen 11/11/10
PLAYBOY LISTS CLIFF BELL’S AS GREAT AMERICAN BAR PR Newswire – 7/15/10
BLOG: BAR CULTURE It’s About That Time – Paul Brady 7/5/10
“About 300 miles east on I-94 from Chicago will get you to Cliff Bell’s, a downtown Detroit jazz club, cocktail bar and restaurant. During the interim year I spent in Detroit before moving to New York, I lived a few blocks from Cliff Bell’s which was perfect because I not only hung out there, I also regularly played gigs there and still do. Paul Howard, co-owner, is passionate about the place. He renovated the beautiful 1930s Art Deco interior of the building, located in the Detroit theater district, into a jazz palace, and has presented a food menu of delicious bistro fare. (Get the gourmet mac and cheese and thank me later.)
“I love that I can come here and order a classic cocktail without the bar tender giving me a look,” said my sommelier friend Anthony Minne. Cliff Bell’s features several Michigan beers on draft, and the finest Detroit jazz musicians. Even nationally known out of town musicians like Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eric Alexander, Mulgrew Miller, John Clayton, have enjoyed the prohibition era party-like atmosphere at Cliff Bells.”
OUT OF THE PAST Metro Times – Jeff Border 1/20/10
“Cliff Bell’s opened in 1935, operating as a supper club until the late ’60s. The space experienced a few different incarnations, one of which ended when a dead body was found in the since-replaced walk-in cooler. Today the name has been revived — and the club along with it. The Detroit landmark has been restored, reflecting the new owners’ hard work. The result is a stylish, hip, cosmopolitan venue for music, classic cocktails and fine dining. It simultaneously represents the past and the present of the city.” (See article for full interview)