Grand Trunk Pub


20 Reviews

Type: Bar, Eatery

612 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan, 48226-3450
United States

(313) 961-3043 | map

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Added by SaucyA on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 40
Photo of mschultz88
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Bit of a dark unknown, Grand Trunk is a good place to go after a hard day of work. Plenty of local beers on tap, friendly staff, and decent bar food. Menu changes from time to time, and usually stays pretty local. I always suggest this place to people who are new to the downtown area of Detroit

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Photo of onespartan
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been going to this place since it was Forans (former owners) and have always enjoyed the architecture. However, the inside still feels quite worn and dirty. The food is decent and the taps are all Michigan beers. It is a nice place to stop before/after downtown sporting events as it is far enough way to not get crazy busy.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Awesome historical train ticketing office rehabbed into detroits premier craft beer spot. Almost all Michigan selections on tap, and usually good ones at that. In the heart of downtown, great bar food menu- sandwiches, burgers, etc. Occasional beer/brewery events.

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Photo of acostuhhh
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Came during an Arbor Brewing takeover, with a few special sours on tap. I love the old-school copper top bar. Great selection of Michigan brews and local food options. Chicken sourced from Eastern Market.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

The wife and I were spending the night at a hotel in downtown Detroit- lovely, expansive views of the river and Canada. I didn’t want to stay inside so I walked over to Grand Trunk, nearby on Woodward Avenue.

It is an old, narrow pub. Worn-out and tight, there is very little space between the bar and the tables behind. The atmosphere struck me as average-lousy, with either corporate types or ghetto/white trash folks drinking cranberry-vodkas and shots of cheap liquor. Service was indifferent at best.

They serve All-Michigan beers, and according to their website they sell beer and wine to go at competitive prices. They say they have 170 bottles, although I didn’t see a menu for them.
The 23 taps include stuff from Bell’s, Arcadia, Dark Horse, New Holland, Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, MillKing It and more.

Grand Trunk has the potential to be a cool joint, and I love their craft- and Michigan-focus, but as it is I am not enticed to come back.

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Photo of importedfromdet
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

24 taps of all Michigan beers, occasional tap takeovers from different brewers. Can't beat being in an old train ticket officer with plaster vaulted ceilings!

Service can be great sometimes, other times just good. Large menu of food available, with many daily specials.

Beer prices are okay, about on par for microbrews.

Crowd can be a great bunch of Detroiters, or can be the awful ignorant Quicken faux-Detroit boosters.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Love this spot. Decor is prime, though the adjoining space next door kind of kills the romance just a little bit. No matter though; it's still nice looking. Excellent choice of beers. I think you may be able to get the freshest sample of Huma possible here (I certainly did). And tons of Michigan brewed beers beyond that.

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Photo of cratez
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Popped in with my girlfriend on a recent trip to Detroit.

The bad: couldn’t see the chalkboard from our table so I had to order from the bar to get an idea of the taps. Asked the female bartender for a Huma-Lupa-Licious, waited several minutes, eventually the male server snagged me a pint. She then scolded the two of us, claiming she had already poured the beer and it was on its way. They have a massive bottle list but we were not offered a bottle menu during our meal. Ordered the veggie omelette and hash browns while my girl had the French toast and bacon. Both dishes were lukewarm and lacking in flavour, but we bit the bullet since we were starving and in a rush.

The good: high ceilings, long narrow bar, and unpretentious crowd provide a great atmosphere. Good music and a comfortable, relaxed vibe. Our waitress saved the visit from disaster by serving our food quickly and making a solid reco for my second beer. $2.50 pints of Huma Lupa and Reserve Special were tasting lovely and the lady enjoyed her mimosa. All Michigan crafters on tap with a wide range of styles.

Overall: even though we weren’t blown away by our experience, I’d be willing to return as the selection is quite impressive. I’ll just be sure to *ASK* for a bottle list and avoid the mediocre food next time. Worth a shot if you’re looking for stellar beer in a cozy environment.

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Photo of frazbri
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

There's alot to like about the Grand Trunk Pub, but I didn't really enjoy my visit. The building is beautiful with high vaulted ceilings, nice woodwork and neat classic signs. The service was decent enough: friendly, but not overly knowledgable. There was a really good selection, loaded with Michigan made beer.

My issue with Grand Trunk had nothing to do with the pub itself. The patrons were the problem. Let's just call it a high d-bag quotient. Being surrounded by obnoxious people wasn't fun.

The pieces are there, and I would give it another chance. Just not late on a weekend night.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited the Grand Trunk Pub for the Detroit Jazz Festival over two days (three visits). The bar area is a little narrow, but I ended up outside for two of the visits. Much more comfortable out there, and the weather was nice. The food is typical pub fare, but it's pretty good! The sandwich I had there rocked. All the taps are from Michigan (15 or so), but there are PLENTY of bottles as well. You can also buy beer to go- which I did.. Service can be a little slow at times, but one of the bartenders came over to my outside table and talked beer w/ me for a good 15 minutes on his break. That was pretty cool. I'm glad this place was only a couple blocks from my hotel- it rocked. All my buddies really liked the beer selection too. If you're ever in Detroit, you owe it to yourself to visit the Grand Trunk Pub.

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Photo of detroiter
4.15/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I have been to this place easily 40 times. The bartenders are all characters and make each visit a good one. I applaud dedicating all 15 taps to beer brewed in Michigan.

The reuben is the best i've ever had and its only $9. The fish n chips and shepherds pie are excellent also at around $10 each. Happy hour specials are great as is the bottle selection, where else can you get a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin La Roja for $13?

If you are anywhere downtown you need to check out the Grand Trunk Pub. And one more thing, they sell beer to go so you can take a 6 pack to your hotel room or wherever. This is key as finding good beer late night in Detroit can be tricky.


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Photo of steebo777
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I am torn on Grand Trunk personally. I have been coming to Foran's Grand Trunk for years, and it has changed its vibes a couple times. It used to be hardcore electronic music and a pretty good beer list. Nowadays, it is focused on better beer availabilty and cuisine. I love the atmosphere as it is an old train ticket station. They have cleaned it up and made it easier on weekends and busy times to get around. They also purchased the building next door and blew out the wall between the two buildings for more seating and kitchen area. However, there is still some old stuff around that needs some work, and the men's restroom is a prime example of this (it was voted the worst bathroom in Detroit 2005).

The selection really goes up and down at Foran's, but for the most part they have solid Michigan Craft beer choices. They also usually have a pretty good bottle list, albeit some of them get slightly old.

The food is quite good, and a definite great spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch is always a good time and you get great beer specials.

The service is ually pretty good, but sometimes they can be understaffed.

All around, a great place to hit while in the D. You should be able to at least find a good beer or two on tap you'll like.

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Photo of
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere is tied with the beer selection for the best part of this place. The bar is in a converted 19th century ticket office of the old the Grand Trunk Railway. It's long and narrow, has lots of original architetcural details, and the view out the front window is of beautiful downtown Detroit. (For people who have never been to Detroit, I'm not being sarcastic. It actually is beautiful.)

They have about 15 taps and all of them are dedicated to Michigan microbrews. The choices rotate with selections from Bell's, Founder's, Short's, MBC, Atwater, New Holland, and other Michigan breweries.

The food is quality bar food. Don't expect to be blown away by the food, but you won't be disappointed either. The fish and chips are solid, as is the shepherd's pie. And the prices are extremely reasonable, with specials on some nights.

I've had incredible service, and terrible service; but more often than not the service is good.

Overall, I recommend this place if you are anywhere near downtown Detroit.

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Photo of uno99
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Suprised to see I've never reviewed this place! Its been a staple visit on every Detroit trip.

A: As others have mentioned in more detail, this is an old train ticket booth. Its really long and narrow. the archetecure is fantastic. Recently there has been an expansion and takeover of the place next door, so there is a lot more room now. Pool tables upstairs, which is a cool place to chill out and overlook the rest of the bar.

Q: The beer is always fresh local selections. You'll only find high quality brews here from Bells, Founders, Kuhnehen, etc

S: The bartenders and wait staff are all exceptional. Very friendly and knowlegeable about beer.

S: Bottle selection is a mystery to me, but they do have most regular Jolly Pumpkin selections. The tap/cask list is why I love this place. Always rotating, always somthing intresting.

F: Food is exceptional and comes out hot and fast. The ruben sandwich is a particular favoirite of mine.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very unassuming from the store front, it didn't even look open when I arrived around 5PM. A cool old converted train depot that dates back to 1879, bartender said the foundation is pre-civil war. Nice vaulted ceilings and woodworking on the walls give this bar lots of character.

15 taps, all of them Michigan, 8 breweries were represented on this particular night. A good representation of styles, lots of summer beers on tap. They have a good bottle list, which features Michigan beers as well.

This place has a small local feel to it. The bartender there that particular night was very beer knowledgeable. To update an earlier review I saw, there is no smoking. Only complaint was there did not appear to be any A/C and it was quite warm there this evening as it was a sweltering earlier.

Food was typical Irish pub food. Had the Reuben, which was quite good.

All in all, a very nice place worth a visit if you're in downtown Detroit. I enjoy places like this when I'm on the road, where you can get a good variety of local beer

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Photo of divineaudio
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

formerly known as foran's irish pub, grand trunk is a great little bar in downtown detroit. the new owners have gone the extra mile to improve the space, including fairly recent improvements to the facade of the building and the addition of an outdoor patio, which is quite nice in the warmer months.

the space is a converted train depot, and the historic character really comes through. atmosphere is dark and relaxed with a lot of beautiful decorative woodwork inside. high vaulted ceilings and a long, long bar make the place feel expansive, though the space itself is not very large. there is a nice upstairs balcony area that overlooks the whole bar, which makes seating for large groups fairly convenient.

the beer selection is fantastic! grand trunk serves a nice variety and has michigan brewed beer exclusively on tap. there are 15 taps that cover quite a few styles, and brews rotate seasonally, so finding something you will enjoy should be fairly easy. my last visit included a few pints of arbor brewing espresso love, which i discovered for the first time at this very bar a few years ago. the bartenders are plenty knowledgeable about the products they serve and can answer your questions or even turn you on to a new beer should you so desire. there is also a wide assortment of liquor available, with a good selection of whiskeys, something i find to be lacking in most bars.

the food is also fantastic. a lot nicer than your typical bar food, and a lot more flavorful. on my last visit, i had the mcgee sandwich, which is roasted turkey, red pepper, avocado, swiss and mayo on toasted rye bread. needless to say it was delicious. the kitchen is open all night (2 am here in michigan) so you'll never have to worry about the kitchen being closed if you want to get some grub with your booze. and a nice tidbit - their food is sourced locally wherever possible, a testament to their commitment to being a michigan-based business.

prices are reasonable but certainly not cheap. 2 beers, a sandwich and tip ran me $24, but considering the quality, i'd say this is par for the course.

my only complaint is that due to the narrow profile of the space it can be challenging to get back and forth to the front/back of the bar and the bathroom if it gets busy, but this is pretty minor in light of an otherwise excellent watering hole.

if you're ever in in detroit and in search of beer, grand trunk should be your first stop.

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Photo of kels
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

After reading BeerFly reviews on Detroit beer spots, I decided Foran's was going to be first on my list during a trip to the D. Amazingly it was a mere 3 blocks from our hotel in downtown, close to Cobo and Joe Louis. +1 for the easy location!

Atmosphere: This place is really unique. The vaulted ceilings, lofted seating area, dim lighting and intricate columns and carvings made us wonder first if it used to be part of a church. The bartender knew the building's history, and told us it used to part of an old train station in Detroit. Very cool feel. The bar was long and well-loved, as were the seats with their ripped covers. The only downer in the atmosphere is more of a personal preference - Michigan, when are you going to jump on the smoke-free bus with the rest of us? I'm just used to smoke-free Ohio bars, so this might not bother others as much.

Quality/Service: The quality seemed pretty good - no complaints. Everything tasted fresh, and everything was served in the proper glassware. The service was pretty good. The bartender was also our server, and he did a pretty decent job of juggling us at our table with the patrons at the bar. He was pretty knowledgeable about all the beers, and he was able to give us good recommendations and insight into the Detroit beer scene.

Selection: Really great respect and attention at Foran's to the Michigan beer industry. All their drafts (save some Irish imports) were Michigan beers, and they were listed on the board by brewery - very cool. They had on-tap offerings from Shorts, Bells, Dark Horse, Motor City, and more. My only complaint with the on-tap selection was variety, but that just might have been that day. There were lots of heavy-hopped and sweet/fruity beers on tap. I would have liked to see a greater range of styles. They also had a great bottle selection, again with a lot of things from Michigan. Really enjoyed my Scotty Karate from Dark Horse.

Food: Food was good, typical pub grub. I can't pass up fish and chips on any menu, and their version was pretty good and battered in MCBW Ghettoblaster. Not bad at all and pretty reasonably priced.

I would definitely recommend this stop for anybody visiting the D. If I worked downtown, I'd be a regular at 5:05 every day lol...

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Photo of GJ40
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I've never been a huge fan of visiting Detroit but Foran's is helping to change that. I stopped by while in town on business after finding it on BA.

Foran's is in an old train station ticket office. It's got a great architectural appeal and loads of charm. The exposed brick, natural woods, high vaulted ceiling and dim lighting make it a very comfortable environment. And the crowd was mostly locals that were happy to rave about Foran's and the Michigan beer scene.

Foran's best feature is their large selection of local, Michigan brewed beers. Other than Guinness, it's all MI beer on tap. I loved the Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA and also liked the Crooked Tree IPA, Arcadia Hopmouth DIPA and Atwater Voodoo Vator.

The service is great too. Pauly is as good a bartender as you'll find and all of them know their beer. And Rodney in the kitchen makes some great bar food. The food is almost as good as the beer. I had a corned beef sandwich and it was by far the best I've ever had. On another visit, I had the "Little Pauly". It's not on the menu but if Rodney's in the kitchen, you can request it. It's a burger topped with corned beef, bacon, swiss, egg, an onion ring, sauerkraut and basil aioli. A fried pickle is then tacked to the top of the bun. Wow!

I wasn't expecting a lot but I really liked Foran's. It's a true local beer bar and well worth a visit.

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Photo of exbrit
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Forans is a hidden gem in downtown Detroit. It was once the grand trunk railroad and the place has tons of atmosphere. It is very relaxed no matter what night you are there and i have found that the people behind the bar are knowledgeable about the tap selection.

Speaking of which Forans has an impressive selection of microbrews on tap. The emphasis is on Michigan products which is fine by me as that state produces some amazing beers so there is always lots of bells, new holland, arcadia, dark horse ect on tap. They change the taps fairly regularly so you can always find something new and interesting to try.

I have never seen Forans really busy no matter what night of the week you go and as a result the service from behind the bar is great. They know their beer and are more than happy to let you sample something if you are unsure about it.
I have yet to order food from the place but i hear it is excellent also.

All in all Forans is a terrific laid back old school type of place with a lot of character, tons of great beer, knowledgeable and friendly staff and is well worth a visit if you are downtown.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I really enjoyed this place, and couldn't believe it wasn't already in here. The tap list and bottle list are both great, in fact, everything here is pretty conducive to drinking a beer in a nice, quiet hangout.

It is in a great building that's nearly 130 years old, and the architecture and craftsmanship are really something to appreciate. Looking around the place takes you back to a day when people made things for aesthetic reasons, not just functionality. When I went in on a Saturday night, the crowd was very subdued and good music played at a very reasonable volume. It's a definite beer-drinkers bar, despite the smoking.

The tap quality is wonderful with many great MI beers on tap. Two taps devoted to Short's (reason to go right there), among Dark Horse, Founder's, Bell's, New Holland, Atwater, Motor City... the only non-micro on tap is Guiness. Lots of rotating kegs, so the best way to keep up on them is to call ahead. They have a nice bottle list as well, of mostly MI micro's.

Our bartender was a really cool guy named David that was quite personable.

All in all, a nice spot to get a brew while downtown. Good beer, good service, good atmosphere.

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Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit, MI
4.07 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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