Parc: Detroit — A Girl’s Guide to Drinking Alone

The Vibe: It’s the middle of the afternoon and I imagine the bar won’t be busy since most people are still working (haha suckers!). As I get closer to the entrance, my birthday luck starts to run out. The tables are mostly full and the bar is almost packed with business people and “cool moms,” probably from Rochester Hills or a neighboring suburb. The hostess greets me with a smile and I cheerfully mention that I am hoping to find a spot at the bar. This angel spies an open chair and walks me right over to it–what a gem of a gal! I gaze around and the floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the entire building immediately grab my attention. So beautiful and they allow for an almost 360 degree view of downtown Detroit and Campus Martius. The interior is rather minimalist. Each table is adorned with a simple white tablecloth, and while the massive windows allow for plenty of natural light, plain Edison bulbs hang from various pipes throughout the length of the dining room. Both sides of the bar are decorated with three spherical lighting fixtures which remind me of a Hoberman Sphere toy, but pretty! Tube Riding by Traumton (yes, I Shazamed it) plays in the background. House music isn’t my top choice of genre (long live PopRock of the early 2000s!), but it suits this industrial-chic establishment very well. 

The Bartender: There are two holding down the fort. The entire staff is wearing black long sleeve button down shirts with teal ties and black aprons. The back of the apron my bartender is wearing has this deconstructed Monopoly Man insignia, which piques my interest, despite vehemently despising the game itself. (Look, it takes forever to play, and how do you even know when you’ve won – when the bank has all the money and everyone else is poor? I’d prefer to play a game to escape reality, thank you very much!) I inquire on the origin of his apron and he curtly responds with “this is the apron they gave me to wear to keep my clothes clean.” I get it, it’s a busy Friday afternoon, and he has neither the time nor desire to discuss something as mundane as his apron…but really? The second bartender wears his hair in a ponytail, takes his job v seriously and seems to enjoy giving direction to others. After watching him interact with his colleagues, it appears that Ponytail might be a newer employee and a bit big for his britches as my bartender corrects him a number of times. This dynamic contributes to a semi-tense atmosphere, but perhaps I only pick up on it because I’m flying solo. Later in my visit, a couple arrives and attempts to engage our bartender in conversation while waiting for their drinks. This customer, who might have already had a drink prior to walking in, says “I really like your tie!” to the standoffish bartender. He responds flatly with “Yeah, we’re all wearing the exact same one.” Shut down. This guy might be the king of not-giving-a-fuck, and hospitality might not be the best line of work for him.