Tom’s Tavern

From MusicWiki Detroit
Jump to: navigation, search
Tom’s Tavern
Toms Tavern Sign.jpg
Background Information

Established Closed - 2017



Ron Gurdjian


10093 W Seven Mile Rd Detroit, MI 48221




Sunday - Tuesday
Wednesday - Saturday
7:00 pm - 2:00 am

Update: Ron Gurdjian owner of Toms Tavern passed away in June 2018 leaving the future of the bar up in the air. Crains Detroit article


Tom’s Tavern is often described as a dive bar and it’s easy to mistakenly believe it’s closed. The ramshackle shanty of a bar on Seven Mile near Livernois in west Detroit was built by a Greek immigrant named Tom Lucas in 1928. It was the middle of Prohibition and it was passed off as a Lunch counter. Rumors that the infamous Purple Gang dropped off booze in their private limos persist. Tough to prove, but entirely possibly because the Purple Gang were the premier booze distributors in the area during Prohibition.

Tom’s Tavern's walls are adorned with an eclectic mix of vintage photographs, sports pennants, newspaper clippings, and knickknacks The collection of mismatched chairs add to the charm and homey feel. There’s not a straight angle in the place. The floors slope, the bar is crooked and from the outside it appears to be literally falling over. Over the years, Tom’s Tavern weathered Prohibition, burglary, fire and more than one vehicle crashing through its walls.

Tom Lucas died at the ripe age of 95. After that, no one was quite sure what to do with the bar. It was shuttered and weeds overgrew the property until it looked like just another abandoned building, but the beer was still there. One night Tom’s friend and regular Ron Gurdjian stopped in to check on the place. He turned on the lights and got to cleaning, assessing what needed to be done. Tom’s regulars were just lying in wait. Someone saw the lights on and stopped in and Ron handed him a beer. Then another regular rolled up to check. Ron handed him a beer. Before long the bar was back in business and Ron found himself running the place. Ron purchased Tom’s Tavern from the Lucas family and he proudly continues Tom’s legacy of a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where you’ll instantly feel like a regular.

There’s a piano in one corner of the bar which hosts a varied lineup of local talent and classic jukebox full of jazz, blues, Motown, and old time rock and roll providing tunes on nights without live entertainment.