Detroit February 25, 2018
9 Long Gone Places Every Detroiter Misses
Detroit is constantly introducing unique attractions and amazing events. Whether you’re a foodie, a sports fanatic, or an art enthusiast, there’s alway something new in the Motor City to keep you curious. However, many Detroiters still long for establishments and eateries of the past — no matter how exciting the present day seems. Here are nine long gone spots in Detroit that we wish we could revisit.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
The J.L. Hudson Department Store, lovingly referred to as Hudson’s, once stood in downtown Detroit as the world’s tallest department store. Founded in 1881, Hudson’s was a true landmark of the Motor City, drawing in thousands of shoppers each year with its elegant fashions and exciting atmosphere. The original Hudson’s store closed its doors in 1983, and a little piece of our hearts died along with it.
2. Boblo Island
If you grew up in Detroit, you might remember taking a boat ride over to Boblo Island Amusement Park, which actually sat on Bois Blanc Island in neighboring Ontario. The park featured something for every member of the family: carnival rides, a zoo, and a massive dance hall that served as the perfect place for special events. Boblo closed its doors in 1993 after nearly a century of fun.
3. Tiger Stadium
Ah, Tiger Stadium... the site of so many days out at the ball game for Detroiters young and old. This Corktown classic was an obvious choice when it came to compiling our list of long-lost Detroit attractions, and some still mourn for this iconic destination in the Motor City. Tiger Stadium hosted our beloved Detroit Tigers from 1912 until 1999. It was ultimately demolished in 2009.
4. Trappers Alley
Today, visitors to the Monroe Avenue area of Detroit might immediately associate it with Greektown Casino, but longtime Detroiters know better! This locale previously housed Trappers Alley, a shopping center that offered a unique industrial vibe in a convenient downtown location. The next time you find yourself in Greektown, pour one out for Trappers Alley.
5. Joe Louis Arena
The wound is still raw for those of us who simply can’t accept Little Caesars Arena as the home of the Red Wings. Joe Louis served as our trusty hockey venue from 1979 until 2017, and the memories made here are absolutely priceless. Sure, the new stadium has plenty of perks, but "The Joe" will always have a special place in our hearts -- and we’re dreading its upcoming May 2018 demolition date.
6. The Olympia
Speaking of the Red Wings, do you remember attending events at The Olympia? This beloved venue in the Motor City made its home on Grand River Avenue from the late 1920s until 1987. The Wings played here until the construction of "The Joe," but the venue also hosted concerts, Pistons games, and all sorts of exciting public events. Its Romanesque style added a unique beauty to the building.
7. Dot and Etta’s Shrimp Hut
Longtime Detroiters will have mouthwatering memories of dining at Dot and Etta’s, which served up some of the tastiest eats in the city. Whether you opted for a classic shrimp basket or a chicken dish, you were sure to be satisfied -- even if its fried food choices weren’t the healthiest. When cravings strike, there’s nothing worse than remembering that Dot and Etta’s has closed its doors.
8. Rafal Spice Company (Eastern Market)
Many Detroiters have incredible memories of Rafal Spice Company during weekly visits to Eastern Market. There was nothing quite as comforting as stepping into the aromatic atmosphere at Rafal, chatting with its friendly owner and employees, or perusing its seemingly endless array of spices. Our home-cooked meals just don’t have that same flair since Rafal’s closure.
9. The Silverdome
The Lions have caused us plenty of disappointment throughout the years, but they’ve also brought us together for some fantastic memories with loved ones. For true blue Detroiters, many of these memories took place at the Silverdome. Once holding the title of the NFL’s largest stadium, the Silverdome served as the Lions’ home turf from 1975 until 2001 -- and its demolition this past December was the end of an era for many Detroit sports fans.
Are there any other long gone destinations in or around Detroit that you find yourself longing for? We’re always happy to hear from you, so share your thoughts in the comment section below!