Sure Flint bars are known to whip up some dynamite drinks, break out some fine bottles of wine and have some of the best beers on tap — but there’s a growing trend putting a new twist in the bar scene.
Beyond the booze, there is a full menu of stuff on tap all around town. Some of the stuff is legendary (like jazz night at Soggy Bottom Bar) and some of it is downright quirky (how about a shot of local lore with History Happy Hours by Whaley Historic House and Museum).
Let’s face it an all inclusive list is impossible, but the highlights staples like live music or party pumping DJs, trivia nights and comedy nights as well as coloring, painting parties, crafts, yoga, and yard games.
One of my favorites is the giant Jenga set at Tenacity Brewing, located at 119 N. Grand Traverse. The pieces are stacked precariously high on one of the barstools — and the whole bar will know if you pull the wrong piece when the blocks crash down. There is also a well used cornhole game outside.
“Well, we have a pretty big yard, so we had to get some yard games,” said Tony Delagado, general manager at Tenacity. “We have a few more in mind for this year. We have been talking about doing a yard game triathlon for a while now.”
Churchill’s Food and Spirits has long been known as a destination spot for live music, although several others including Cork, Blackstones, Tenacity and Soggy Bottom also are home to occasional performances. Along with flights of whiskey and a new menu, Churchills (340 S. Saginaw St.) hosts bluegrass group The Outfit on Mondays mixed in with jazz performers, a DJ, and other local acts throughout the week.
For those legendary jazz nights at Soggy Bottom — located at 613 MLK Ave. — if you’re not there by 5:30 p.m., the odds of getting a table in the front room is slim to none. Trivia nights on Wednesdays are another big draw, said Shelly Pendleton, a bartender and server at Soggy Bottom.
These places and events bring people together from all walks of life. Old friends, new friends, friends you don’t know yet. And while you’re at it, maybe grab a cold one.
“The city's heartbeat is getting stronger,” says Angelica Abbott, a frequenter of Soggy Bottom jazz night. Along with the growing nightlife, she also points to the coffee shops, Flint Farmers’ Market, and flourishing running community. “Above all, you will find people with some of the biggest hearts you'll ever find. I love Flint.”
A crowd fills the patio on a recent trivia night at Tenacity Brewing, which like other downtown Flint bars is pairing its standard taps with unique events.