Neighborhood Joint: Standby

Written by The Detroit Foodie — Photography by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Exceeding expectations. Exceptional in every way.

Standby is a noteworthy leader in Detroit’s ever-growing culinary scene. Within its clandestine location (enter through the old elevator shaft in an alleyway) is a harmonious offering of artfully crafted cocktails and exquisitely executed dishes. 

The location alone makes the journey worthwhile. Walk past beautiful murals adorning the walls of The Belt (an alley turned outdoor gallery in the old garment district) where your destination awaits. There are two things to look for when seeking out this mystery location: one is the beautifully chiseled plaster mural by Portuguese street artist Vhils; the other is the slow-burning lantern that sits above a rusty set of doors leading you into this safe haven.


Few men have had a bigger impact on Detroit's cocktail culture than Joe Robinson, the owner of Standby. Mentored by Traverse Fourmont, who pioneered Detroit’s craft cocktail movement, Robinson has been involved in the culinary scene since he was 15 years old. We at Grand Circus Magazine couldn't wait to get his recommendation for the drink of the summer. 

Drink of Choice: Snake in the Grass

Refreshing. Cool. Crisp. Earthy. Delicious. An artful & theatrical prepared cocktail. Dangerously delectable!

  • Citadelle Gin
  • Lime Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Mustard Greens (with liquid nitrogen to maintain freshness)
  • Celery Bitters

225 Gratiot Avenue. Necklace District (Downtown)