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Cliff Bell’s Brings Live Jazz Music, Brunch and More to The District Detroit

Cliff Bell’s, located just a block away from the bustle of Woodward Avenue near Grand Circus Park, is one of The District Detroit’s most unique cultural institutions.

The venue, which stands at 2030 Park Ave, is one of downtown’s only jazz and supper club and one of just a few bygone-era jazz clubs that remain in Detroit. Today, the venue features a rotation of regular jazz performers and special shows, along with a full-service bar, a weekday dinner menu and Sunday brunch.

The brunch entrees include Lobster Benedict, Shrimp & Grits, Moules-frites, Chicken & Waffles and an array of delectable side dishes. The dinner menu, available Monday through Saturday, boasts pasta dishes; carefully-sourced meats such as Wagyu strip, lamb loin and dry-aged rib-eye; and seafood options, like organic Irish salmon and fresh diver scallops. The savory sides include macaroni and cheese, classic creamed spinach, risotto and glazed root vegetables.

John Clifford Bell, a Cincinnati-born porter-turned-entrepreneur, opened the namesake club in 1935 after operating other venues downtown, including speakeasies during the 14 years of Prohibition. Bell ran the club until his retired in 1958, and the club eventually closed in 1985. Before its closing, the venue operated under different names such as The Winery, La Cave and JB’s on the Park. 

After several years of vacancy, a new joint venture launched a major renovation of the club in late 2005 and reopened Cliff Bell’s in 2006. The distinguished front façade underwent additional work in summer 2018, said co-owner Paul Howard.

Housed in a building designed by Albert Kahn the club design itself is the work of noted architect Charles Agree, who designed the Wittier Hotel on the Detroit River and other landmarks throughout the city. Cliff Bell’s featured technology so new when it opened, the Detroit Free Press published photos of its state-of-the-art refrigeration, air conditioning units and luxurious features such as the mahogany and brass details and Bell’s trademark bar side tables. Today, many of those features remain, along with memorabilia along the club walls.

Check out Cliff Bell’s menus and event calendar here and follow the venue on Instagram at @cliffbells.  

About The District Detroit   

The District Detroit is a dynamic urban destination in the heart of Detroit. One that includes something for everyone—a dense neighborhood experience with a variety of developments alongside Detroit’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Connecting downtown Detroit to growing nearby neighborhoods such as Midtown, Corktown and Brush Park, The District Detroit is having a dramatic economic impact on Detroit and is a driving catalyst of the city’s remarkable resurgence. The District Detroit represents $1.4 billion in new investment to Detroit including the new Little Caesars Arena, Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and Little Caesars world headquarters campus.