Carleton’s Best Bars

When I talk about my hometown, I have a list of things I say to help describe it, a script if you will. “It’s the last cornfield on 75 south of Detroit, it’s one-square mile, has 1 traffic stop, 3 gas stations, 3 bars, 2 pizza places and a Subway.” It’s something usually along those lines.

I know the readers are thinking – what about Anson’s? That would make it 4 bars and 3 pizza places. If they were still in the village limits (shoutout Ron’s Pizzeria) than obviously I would have included them in my description of town and on this list but they’re not so they’re not included.

This list is of the bars inside the Village Limits of Carleton Michigan. I judged the bars off of four attributes: The Food, The Bar, The Activities  and my own Subjective Feelings.

The Definitive Ranking of Carleton Bars:

1. The Hotel Bar

The Hotel Bar is the oldest building in town that’s still in use. I like to think when they built the grain mill the second thing the founders of Carleton added was the Hotel Bar.

Alot of reasons both objective and subjective leave me to this conclusion.

The Food: I mean its bar food to a Tea. There’s nothing fancy Bout it. You know what you’re getting and might be pleasantly surprised.

The Bar: Huge bar with a couple of the coveteted corner spots. Definitely the best “bar” in town. It’s nice when you and your friends can go to one part of the bar and have a conversation without the entire rest of the bar listening in or worse chiming in.

The Activites: Pool tables – history aside, this is what makes the hotel bar stand above the rest. Only bar in town with em.

Subjective: I turned 21 years old in the Hotel. Got there at 11:55pm and as the clock struck midnight I drank my first legal beer. I ended up hurling outside after a half dozen Johnny Vegas shots, and a four horseman that put me over about 1 and a half hours later. 

2. 32 Taps

The Food: It’s good food. I mean BBQ is hard to come by in the city limits and they get the job done. I don’t stray too far away from that here. Though the house chips are good. It definitely has more food options than the Hotel.

The Bar: The bar is definitely the most modern in town with the USB portals but…. I’m not gonna say it’s a small bar, it’s not – It could be bigger. It is fancy looking and I like the foot rest pipe it has.

The Activities:
I’m not gonna include the banquet hall in this discussion but I do have to mention its presence.
I hear they have cornhole tournaments and probably other fun leagues and what not in the hall, but not on every night going to the bar, which makes a difference.

I’ve never been to karaoke there but it’s a thing apparently and I like a good night out with karaoke as much as the next guy. It’s also not there every night, so no shade at 32s but simply put they’re not dependable on the activites.

A bunch of TVs – this is huge and almost makes up for the lack of activities,  you can watch all the sports going on that day and lip read Impractical Jokers at the same time. It’s a great set up.

Subjective: I grew up with the Grafton Inn, mostly sat in the smoking session just passed the Blues Brothers statues against the front wall. So for me 32’s is cool and all but it’s not the OG Grafton Inn.

3. Wolf’s Den

The Food: They dont have food … do they?

The Bar: It is not a huge bar by any means it’s a good size but not great. Girls love the long ball, Guys love the long bar.

The Activities: I’m a fan of standing on the sidewalk in the front and watch Carleton, the cars driving, squirrels running, birds chirppin’ trains passing. But inside, there is nothing to do – which I am all for going to a bar for the strict purpose of shooting the shit, but it’s not much of an activity, I mean have you been to busters?

Honorable Mentions:

Anson’s – The fact that Anson’s is not inside the village limits and thus making it ineligible for this list breaks my heart. I mean it’s pretty cool in there and they have good food and pizza! The bar is a little small for my liking and is curved which is nice but I’m a big sit at the corner guy at bars, and it doesn’t have any corners. With that being said, we used to come here before school dances and whatnot. This place is apart of the fabric of outer Carleton and probably one of my favorite places to eat. They’re also woke on the Maumee Bay Brewing Company christmas ale ‘Blitzen’ which blows the other christmas beers out of the water!

NorthSide – The former Grafton Inn, opened on Telegraph a while ago now. I hear it’s a great time on the patio in the summer time and constantly see people post on their stories about Taco Tuesday. Again, it being legit not even close to Carleton makes it ineligible for the list but had to mention the former Grafton.

Silver Star- had the mention them but to be honest, I’ve never been and furthermore according to the Google, it’s a Maybee bar. No not maybe it’s a bar but it’s a bar in the town of Maybee.

Dishonorable Mention:

Longbranch Saloon – I’m afraid to say anything bad about this place but I’m going to anyway. Full disclaimer I’ve never been there but that’s because I hear they dont like outsiders, if you’re not a regular I hear you’re not welcome.

Also, what’s up with their sign? That’s a fuckin noose! What are they thinking? Its 2020. Legit it could be a Klan hangout spot, I dont know, if a sign tells you about a restaurant than that’s the only logical conclusion.

Though I’m sure any regular here doesn’t have social media, please be aware of the date this is posted and if I go missing in the coming weeks please make this bar as a whole the number 1 suspect.