While Detroit was founded by the French, has a booming Greek neighborhood, plenty of Arabic influence, a Polish city within it, and a Mexican neighborhood worth bragging about, another little-known ethnic impact on this melting pot is German. And it comes in the form of Jacoby’s German Biergarten.
Located at 624 Brush Street in historic Bricktown, this tiny tavern is full of character and history.
Formerly Jake’s Tavern, according to their website, the Voight Brewing Company owned the pub. After a series of events, Luxembourg native Albert Jacoby and his wife Mina took over in 1904. It remained in the Jacoby family until 1995 when it switched hands to Michael Bell and his father Dick.
The entire landscape of this establishment feels as though it is the same now as it was a hundred years ago – which is a welcome rarity in Detroit. The warm wood and brick that envelops its bier-seekers gives the impression of a genuine German pub on the streets of Berlin in the form of a cozy living room. The second floor of this more than century-old building is available for private parties and events.
The beer selection alone is reason enough to make it a point to visit. Some selections include Reissdorf Kolsch, plenty of Weihenstephaner choices, and the Belgian favorite Chimay Blue, ringing in at an impressive 9% ABV.
The menu has some bar-food favorites, like a Reuben, fried mushrooms and onion rings, but those are for the far-less adventurous eaters who don’t know what they’re missing.
The Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) are a Vorspeisen (appetizer) worth mentioning. Homemade and served hot and crispy with a side of apple sauce and sour cream, if you didn’t like German food before, you will after this.
The “Haus Specialties” are where the authentic experience begins. Wiener Schnitzel, Rahm Schnitzel, Jager Schnitzel – all the Schnitzels are present and accounted for, all served with potato pancakes and a side of red cabbage.
Just to add to the charm of this historic watering hole, no dish costs more than $13.
Jacoby’s is the place to be to round out the culturally diverse experience that is Detroit – prost!
Jacoby’s German Biergarten is located at 624 Brush Street in downtown Detroit. They can be reached at (313) 962-7067 or www.jacobysbar.com.