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Grand Trunk Pub, Vine open doors for filming of 'Smooch'

Crews set up lighting outside the Grand Trunk on Woodward
Crews set up lighting outside the Grand Trunk on Woodward
Ken Welsch

Hollywood camera sightings in downtown Detroit have become common in recent months with big-time productions like 'Transformers 3', 'LOL: Laughing Out Loud' and 'Harold & Kumar 3' setting up in the Motor City.

The string continued Tuesday, albeit it on a smaller scale, when crews for the made-for-TV movie 'Smooch' used two Woodward Avenue hangouts for filming. The Hallmark Channel movie will air around Valentine's Day 2011. The Grand Trunk Pub, the long-ago ticket office turned retail space, and Vine, the upscale wine bar on Woodward across from Campus Martius Park, both closed their doors to accomodate the filming as crews hurried to beat a forecasted high-wind storm, the brunt of which ultimately eluded downtown Detroit.

The film, an updated re-telling of The Brothers Grimm story 'The Frog Prince', stars Kiernan Shipka of 'Mad Men' and Kellie Martin of 'ER'. According to crew members on location, filming was scheduled to wrap by end of day Tuesday.

'Smooch' is only the latest film crew to use a downtown Detroit bar as a backdrop. Last year, 'The Double' starring Richard Gere filmed scenes at Coaches Corner, and the TV cop drama 'Detroit 1-8-7' featured interior and exterior footage of Jacoby's German Biergarten in one of its early episodes.

Vine is located at 660 Woodward in the First National Building, and the Grand Trunk is down the street at 612 Woodward. No word on whether either bar plans to celebrate the airing of 'Smooch' with a date-night special next February.

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