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Blast from the past

When guests go to the recently opened Hammer and Nail, 3800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, they’ll find a mid-century vibe and a cocktail menu with drinks from the 1950s and 1960s. David Di Rita, founder of the Roxbury Group, knows these cocktails didn’t taste the best when they were originally on menus – but they’ll change your mind about them. “The team likes to say the ‘60s was an era for great drink names that tasted lousy…they’ve taken just enough artistic license to make them really wonderful drinks,” he said. There are two cocktails on draft, the Hi Ball and Nitro Russian, and eight others, including the Pink Squirrel, an Old Fashioned made with house-made citrus sorbet, and the Moonwalk. There’s also beer and wine. Hammer and Nail – the name comes from the iconic sign formerly on top of the building which now sits behind the back bar – has a food menu that fits the theme, with sandwiches, soups, and shareables like shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, and the already popular, Ruth’s Party Mix. Metro Intelligencer is a monthly column devoted to news stories, tidbits and gossip items about what's happening on the restaurant scene in the metro Detroit area. Metro Intelligencer is reported/created each month by Dana Casadei who can be reached at with news items or tips, on or off the record.

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