Legendary Detroit watering hole, America’s first sports bar, to be celebrated at Museum

The Lindell AC was located on Cass Avenue in downtown Detroit, near The Leland and Book-Cadillac Hotel. It operated from the early 1950s until its closing in 2002.

Just in time for spring training fever, the Detroit Historical Society, together with its partners at Melodies and Memories and the Butsicaris family, is bringing the Lindell AC bar back for the summer of 2019 in a new exhibit opening on Saturday, March 16th at the Detroit Historical Museum at 6 PM.

Known as America’s First Sport’s Bar, the Lindell AC perfected the genre for 50 years before closing in 2002. The Detroit Historical Museum exhibit will document the history of the place and the personalities that made it one of Detroit’s best-loved gathering spots, featuring the original photos you remember from the bar, along with selected artifacts and memorabilia from the bar owners Johnny and Jimmy Butsicaris, athletes, and entertainers who frequented Detroit’s infamous watering hole.

The public is invited to the Museum for an opening event from 6 to 10 PM designed to recall the good times that the Lindell AC was known for. Featuring the original menu (burgers with cheese or without, grilled cheese and fries), beer and soft drinks, a jukebox filled with classic tunes, and sports trivia all night, the opening is a benefit for the Museum with proceeds supporting new exhibits. The event opens with a screening of the 45-minute documentary Meet Me at the Lindell at 6PM. Some of the athletes and media personalities who made the Lindell AC famous are expected to be on hand to share their stories with the crowd. Tickets are available online.

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About Dan Holmes

The editor of Detroit Athletic Co. blog, is the author of Ty Cobb: A Biography. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, and worked for Major League Baseball as a web producer. He contributed to Sock it to 'Em Tigers: The Incredible Story of the 1968 Detroit Tigers, and Deadball Stars of the American League. Follow him on Twitter at @thedanholmes or visit his personal blog at danholmes.com.