The Oldest Still-Operating Bar in Michigan
How old do you think the oldest saloon in Michigan is?
100 years old? 125? 150? 175?
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
The oldest, still-operating saloon/tavern/bar/inn in Michigan is the New Hudson Inn, established & opened in 1831 (YOU figure out how old it is).
Located in the burg of New Hudson, which is between Brighton and Novi just off I-96, the inn originated as a stagecoach rest stop. It pretty much has the same architecture as it did all those years ago, obviously having continuous restoration. The establishment was originally called the “Old Tavern” and catered to travelers coming and going to Detroit and Lansing. It incorporated a hotel which had a dance floor with springs attached – this was intended for the floor to move along with the patrons who were dancing on it. The rumors of the inn doubling as a brothel seems more likely than not.
Above the main floor was a secret room which is said to have hidden escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad. This room is now available for the public to view, and contains personal items left behind by the slaves who came and went. The Oakland County Historical Commission is doing its best to make sure the inn gets the Historical Marker it deserves. There are a couple of other bars that claim to be the oldest, but their start dates are listed as AFTER 1831.
The New Hudson Inn currently serves a wide variety of beer & ale, a build-your-own burger bar and music just about every night.
Drive over, have a beer and a burger, and check out some Michigan history!