Key West-themed tiki bar celebrates grand opening in Hazel Park

What’s happening: If our “Top Stories” sidebar tells us anything, it’s that people have been very much looking forward to the opening of Eastern Palace Club, the Key West-themed tiki bar in Hazel Park. Our sneak peek was published in October and it’s still firmly rooted as one of our most read stories. That anticipation was met with a very busy bar this past Tuesday, Jan. 17, as Eastern Palace Club has finally celebrated its grand opening.

What it is: Eastern Palace Club is a Key West-themed tiki bar housed in the former private club and banquet hall of the same name. The bar and common area is clad in bamboo and thatch roofing, and the menu includes classic beachside drinks, like the pina colada, and new twists, like the cafe con leche, a whiskey-and-iced coffee drink. Games, including pool, pinball, and skeeball, are found throughout. 

That’s not all: The Eastern Palace Club building is actually home to two businesses, the tiki bar itself and the separately-owned Smoked Lotus BBQ. The pit-smoked barbecue joint utilizes the building’s kitchen, offering food to-go and a service window that allows for in-bar orders.

What they’re saying: “Eastern Palace Club is famous for just being this big brick building. And so instead of having tons of windows all over the place, we've taken advantage of how the place is set up. We built little cabanas and the bar is completely remodeled and stylized. We've got thatch roofing and bamboo everywhere, and all sorts of artifacts from Key West,” Mike Pierce, who co-owns the bar with Dustin Leslie and Adam O’Connor, told us in October. “As soon as you walk into the place, it feels like you're not at Eight-and-a-half Mile and John R in Hazel Park anymore. You're definitely transported somewhere different, somewhere special.”

Eastern Palace Club and Smoked Lotus BBQ are located at 21509 John R Rd. in Hazel Park.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.