Steven Reaume, publisher of thedetroitilove.com, pop-up chef, freelance designer, and Detroit party promoter, knows a thing or two about how to spend 24 hours in the city. With Detroit’s 24-hour culture continuously growing, there’s no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re a morning bird or night owl, Reaume’s perfect Detroit day includes something for everyone to discover and try. With the holiday season around the corner, too, there’s no better time than now to get out and enjoy Detroit with family and friends.
10 a.m. – Morning coffee at Urban Bean Co.
“I spend part of my life promoting parties at clubs as well as after-hours venues,” Reaume says, whose day starts later than most. For a morning jolt, he visits Urban Bean Co. in downtown Detroit, which offers a variety of beverages plus live music. It’s ideal for unwinding while hearing the latest sounds from the Motor City. “They have great coffee and the perfect atmosphere to wake up and plan the day.”
11 a.m. – Breakfast at Duly’s Place Coney Island
Next up is a stop at Duly’s Place Coney Island in Southwest Detroit, where Reaume always orders his longtime favorite: over-easy eggs, whole wheat toast, and potatoes. “The authentic retro atmosphere offers an Old Detroit comfort,” he says of the local counter, “and the food is consistently great.”
Flamingo Vintage in Southwest Detroit
12 p.m. – Shopping at Flamingo Vintage Detroit
While in Southwest Detroit, Reaume must pop into Flamingo Vintage Detroit, which he hails as “one of the best thrift stores in the city.” Located in an old restored storefront on Vernor Highway, shoppers can find men’s and women’s apparel dating back to the ’50s, ’60s, and beyond.
1 p.m. Pampering at Schvitz Health Club
“Some time at The Schvitz (Health Club) often resets my mind and body,” Reaume explains of Detroit’s legendary urban health club, which remains the only historic bathhouse in the city. “I’m big on the steam room and dry sauna.” It’s a great alternative for those who aren’t big gym goers, he says, and an easy way to practice self-care (while relaxing and pampering oneself).
2 p.m. Discovering and revisiting hidden gems in Detroit neighborhoods
Having lived in Detroit for more than three decades, Reaume still enjoys the excitement of uncovering secret spots or hidden gems. “I like to take some time to wander around the city, taking photos and discovering new things,” he says. “Old neighborhoods are finding new life, and thankfully the urban wilderness still exists untouched in places.” Detroit parks are a big one for Reaume. Many are familiar with Belle Isle, but there is also Patton Park on the west side and Eliza Howell Park in Brightmoor. He also spends a lot of time on the northwest side to admire the abandoned but still beautiful industrial and commercial buildings.
4 p.m. – Sandwiches and wine in Corktown
A late lunch at Mudgie’s Deli & Wine Shop is a must for Reaume. Mudgie’s is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its extensive sandwich selection. “I’ve been going here since it was Eph McNally’s and O’Leary’s Tea (Room),” he explains. “Greg Mudge runs one of the best restaurants in the city.” Then, Reaume heads over to the cozy Motor City Wine, where guests can enjoy a glass of Detroit’s finest wines and, in season, hang out on the patio or by the fire pits. Evenings feature a variety of live music performances, too. But no visit to Corktown isn’t complete without perusing the rare and used books collection at John K. King Books.
5 p.m. – Finding inspiration at the Detroit Institute of Arts
Free for Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb county residents, the historic Detroit Institute of Arts boasts carefully curated collections from centuries past that visitors can spend hours browsing. “I find wandering through the galleries a humbling and inspirational experience,” Reaume says. “(It) focuses my creative mind, especially when working on a big design project.”
7 p.m. - Early evening cocktails and music
Depending on the day of the week, Reaume enjoys spending his early evenings supporting his favorite local musicians. On Tuesdays, he swings by Soup Sessions hosted by Grant Jackson at The Magic Stick, which features a different musical performance each week. On Wednesdays, Reaume can be found at Two James Spirits listening to the sounds of DJ Vince Patricola or catching up with friends. Thursdays he visits TV Lounge for Snack Time to enjoy local DJs and free snacks.
8 p.m. - Dinner at Detroit food pop-ups
“Whenever possible, I have dinner at one of the great (food) pop-ups happening,” Reaume says. Street Beet, Dr. Sushi, Gajiza Dumplins, Spacecat V-stro, and Geisha Girls are a few favorites that “prepare creative and delicious food at reasonable prices at venues throughout the city.”
Independent theaters in Detroit like Cinema Detroit in Midtown offer unique film offerings not found in most theaters. Photo by Marvin Shaouni
9 p.m. - Catching a flick at one of Detroit’s many cinemas
“A lot of people don’t realize that our city has some great movie theaters,” Reaume explains. From the Senate Theater, to Cinema Detroit, to the historic Redford Theatre, there’s always plenty of new and classic screenings to catch, many of which can’t be found elsewhere.
11 p.m. - Visiting old favorites
Reaume starts his night visiting his go-to bars and music venues, including Marble Bar, UFO Factory, Trinosophes, Deluxx Fluxx, Willis Show Bar, Temple Bar, and more. “The clubs here offer the best entertainment in the world on a nightly basis,” he says. There’s something for people of all music tastes to enjoy, regardless of the day of the week.
1 a.m. - Burger break at Checker Bar
"If it’s going to be a late night, I will swing over to Checker Bar for one of the best late-night burgers in the city,” Reaume says. His expert tip: Get the fries, which are “thin and perfectly crisp.”
2 a.m. - Dancing through Detroit’s underground party scene
The scene is there, Reaume says, “You just have to look for it.” With a little detective work, visitors can find the world’s top DJs and musicians keeping dance floors going strong all night long and into the morning hours in a variety of spaces. “Detroit’s after-hours scene is one of the most unique in the county and is an inclusive community of respect and support,” Reaume says. Marble Bar has recently started to throw 12-hour parties with great success. The best way to find after hours is to talk to people at regular clubs. Since dancing in Detroit is often illegal after 2 a.m., promoters are very careful about publishing locations. These locations can mostly be discovered through word-of-mouth.
5 a.m. - Dutch Girl Donuts
After a long, adventure-filled day in Detroit, there’s no better bedtime snack than a fresh doughnut from Dutch Girl Donuts, a Detroit landmark. Reaume tries to make it back home before the sun comes up, but the night isn’t complete before enjoying a quick dessert.
Photos by Nick Hagen unless otherwise noted.