The Handlebar Detroit

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The Handlebar Detroit

If you are looking for an exciting way to explore Detroit, The Handlebar Detroit is the way to go! The HandleBar is Detroit’s first and only 16-person pedal-powered pub on wheels! A company designated driver navigates as you pedal your way around downtown Detroit, stopping at areas of interest (bars, restaurants, etc) along the way. You can bring your own food and drink and have the driver crank up your music of choice while enjoying a great time with friends! This would be a great experience for a birthday or bachelor/bachelorette party or just a fun get-together with friends.

I had the privilege of experiencing the Handlebar Detroit last night with a group of 11 blogger friends. This is a photo of a few of them before we pedaled off through downtown. A maximum of 16 passengers (plus the pilot) fit on one pedal pub. All guests must be 18 years or older. Beverages are allowed in plastic cups with lids. You can also bring any snacks of choice.

As far as the pedal cart, there are 12 “bar stools” total (6 on each side) but only 10 pedalling seats.  Two of the stools don’t have pedals because they’re over the rear wheels. There is also a bench in the back of the HandleBar that seats three for people who want a rest or would rather just relax. There is plenty of storage space for backpacks and purses in the top of the pedal pub.

Jason was our pilot and he was a great guy! He took good care of us and made sure our needs were met. He was very easy-going about the time schedule and allowed for changes if needed. He was an all around fun guy! He steered us to three stops during our 2-hour trip.

Although we had just 20 minutes at our first stop, Checker Bar, a few of us decided to try their Little Checkers – fresh ground beef sliders with swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and pickle chips. The buns for the sliders were small but packed full of a big chunk of burger (not your average skinny slider). The fries and sweet potato tots were also very good!

Our next stop was in front of Comerica Park for a group photo. Jason graciously took pictures with about 6 different cameras. It was a short stop, but it made for a really cool picture. Along the way, I was also able to get some photos of other highlights of downtown.

Our last stop was at a bar called Town Pump Tavern. Again we had 20 minutes to visit, grab a drink or food, or just enjoy the scenery.

The overall trip was 2 hours, but I could see this being a longer trip. There is so much to see and do in downtown Detroit. The city was bustling with people and excitement. And we were part of it! If you are looking for fun time with a group of friends, I definitely recommend The Handlebar Detroit!

Tips for The Handlebar Detroit

  • Read the FAQ before heading downtown. There’s a lot of important information.
  • Check out the map on their website for parking information and info about where to find the Handlebar (there isn’t a building). The rough address is 190 Gratiot, Detroit, MI 48226.
  • There is paid parking in the Z garage or a lot just down the street on Gratiot. We parked in the lot for just $5. The garage was $10.
  • Wear tennis shoes or other closed-toe shoes. It’s easier to pedal and get up and off the seats with appropriate shoes.
  • Wear comfortable weather appropriate clothing.
  • There are only three adjustable seats on the pedal pub. The HandleBar typically has a minimum height requirement of 5’3″ for pedalers depending on the length of your legs. I am 5’5″ and I had a difficult time reaching the pedals comfortably.
  • It is less expensive to rent a pedal pub during the week. It is $100 cheaper on Sunday-Thursday. See the website for pricing and hours.
  • Ask about bar/restaurant specials for Handlebar passengers.
  • Bring water, other beverages, and snacks.
  • Check out the Dan Gilbert/BedRock Real Estate project with amazing professional graffiti. It is by the parking garage. It is a must see!


Disclosure: I received a free ride on Handlebar in return for this post. All opinions are mine.



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