Upon embarking on the Detroit Bus Company Drunks of Antiquity tour, I don’t think that my roommate and I were fully prepared for the Detroit dive bar culture shock we were about to experience. When we slowed to a stop on Gilbert Street just a few houses down from the first bar on the tour, we exchanged looks of confusion. This couldn’t be it; the street we were on appeared to be lined with only houses (some of which were boarded up or abandoned). Where was the bar?
Enter Abick’s Bar. Touted as the oldest family owned, continuously run bar in Michigan, Abick’s is situated on the corner in a now largely Hispanic neighborhood, below an apartment in which owner Manya Abick Soviak has lived her entire life. Manya’s aunt and uncle purchased the bar in 1910, and the apartment above has been the only place she has ever lived (her late husband moved in after they were married in 1946).