"This is it. This is going to be our bar!" Josh made up his mind on this before stepping foot into the place, simply by looking at the website. The beer list, with the promise of 8 local beers on tap and around 40 other bottled beers to choose from, was enough to tempt me. So off we went on an unseasonably cool July evening to find out if Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern was going to be our Cheers.
In short, Zoobie’s far exceed our expectations. We were immediately greeted by an individual (owner?) who answered several questions for us and let me sample a few beers I was interested in before making my final choice. The decor felt modern and vintage at the same time. It seems like the owners wanted to play up the 50s feel that came with Zoobie’s, but also wanted to modernize it to give the space new life. Zoobie’s offers great local (and not so local) craft beer, wine, and well-made cocktails, along with a snack menu that won’t break anyone’s budget (the highest priced item is $3.50).
Great music played all evening while Josh and I were there (I sang along with everything from Fleet Foxes to Neil Young), there was a diverse crowd (mostly young people in their 20s and 30s, but several more mature patrons as well), and they were showing the Tigers vs. Phillies game on 2 screens mounted above the bar. Zoobie’s also boasts an outdoor space where bands play live music on Friday nights.
Good beer flowed, and so did good conversation. Josh and I marveled at our lives in Michigan. I was a North Carolina girl through to my core, and Josh never imagined he’d end up back in his home state of MI, and yet here we are. We’ve called Lansing, Michigan home now for just over a year. Though we ended up here because Josh decided to attend school at MSU, we feel lucky. Lansing is an area that, at first glance, is pretty bureaucratic and boring. When you look beneath the surface though, there is a vibrant community here working hard to revitalize the Capital City. Zoobie’s is a small piece of that revitalization process—it’s a place that used the good bones of the building to bring something new to the community.
Josh and I will definitely visit Zoobie’s again. Hopefully someday Zoobie’s will be the place we go where everybody knows our name.