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King Wenclas
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 3:54 pm:   

Great site. Much nostalgia.
I lived in the Corridor for the entire decade of the 90's; came in not long before the decade began and left at the end of it, so for me, the 1990s and the Cass Corridor are synonymous.
There's a lot of the story still not covered yet. . . . . I'll see if I can mention some of it.
But what about now? The Cass Corridor-- the city of Detroit-- has a great history, but we live in history. I might be returning to D for a couple months to visit family. What will I see?
King Wenclas
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 4:27 pm:   

Where was I?
You've hit many of the obvious spots like the Miami (I recall all the paraphernalia behind the bar, and its great jukebox) and Alvin's. I remember Bernadette, and her partner, who was good friends with the best of all Detroit poets Jim Gustafson, who I saw read at Alvin's once or twice. Gustafson died in a building on Second that a friend of mine named Mark (wrote under the name "Max Sitting") managed. Gustafson's friend died around the same time, mysteriously.
Remember that the Corridor was/is a huge area; the heart of it was a crazy place. I moved into the area to get away from people I owed some money to-- knew that was a neighborhood they'd be unlikely to ever enter.
Some names thrown out there:
Elmer's Bar, my favorite watering hole, on Selden, virtually around the corner from the Miami. Ultimate seediness. Fantastic atmosphere. On Second was Bob and Betty's, and Sabb's, across the street from it. Sabb's was a rough place with a tough crowd made up of the remainder of early Appalachian-origin residents. I went there once with Paul and some character with a 300-lb bodyguard; Paul being the voluble regular at the Bronx then Third Street.
On Second were two houses, one which for sure was a whore house. The girls were always outside; I'd pass at night as I rode by on my ten-speed bike from a bartending job I had on Fort near downtown. One of the girls would let me stay in her room gratis if it was pouring out. (Wrote about this in an essay once; not on line.)
Remember Coney King, across the street from Zoot's coffee house? The short waitress at Coney King referred to the heart of the Corridor as the Forbidden Zone, and there was some truth to it. Gangs of urchin kids roamed the streets there.
I'm trying to remember the name of the bar on Third which held "fashion shows" and was always being padlocked by the boozhie do-gooders in town for some obscure reason. . . .
(This in the 90's, beyond the glory days of the Willis and Anderson's Show Bar one'd always hear about.)
Third Street-- the street itself for much of its extent-- was total devastation-- I hope the hardware store is still open. There was an old and dusty pool hall on Third that was always closed, yet always there, a forgotten relic, like the Michigan Central train station. (Was that ever torn down? I used to wander through it. Nothing like it anywhere.)
It's not just the Corrdior-- the city as a whole has more pure soul than any city I've been in. (I currently live on the east coast, which is filled with plenty of fake bohemians but not the genuine article.)
What made Detroit interesting to me was not the more boozhie places like the Cass Cafe-- though I stopped in there enough times-- but the really gritty life farther down.
How's the Bronx Bar? Third Street Saloon?
I remember the Bronx from when a guy named George ran it. He owned it and half the neighborhood around it. With the bar he was a dictator. A guy named Steve was always there with his dog. Bud behind the bar. A collection of regulars, always diminishing, getting banned from the place by George, until there remained four customers total.
I hear now the place is very popular.
Third Street overall was probably the best bar in Detroit; got quite a diverse crowd. Served great burgers and short order stuff. (Iris the cook.) A lot of history in that place alone.
Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 11:37 pm:   

third street WAS a great bar. Id go over to the ansonia hotel after last call for a six pack to go. good times.

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 7:22 pm:   

Thanks for the great info dog I owe you bgitigy.

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