The Two Way Inn is the oldest bar in Detroit and has been selling spirits since at least 1876 without stop. It is also confirmed by the Detroit Historical Museum that we had become a speakeasy during the prohibition period. We may not be the oldest building or house that can sell alcohol, and we may have only had this place in our family since 1973 but the establishment that is the Two Way Inn surely has the longest run of legally and illegally selling drinks to the thirsty for over 140 years. That’s confirmed and it is history and we are the care takers of that history.
The Two Way Inn, which is owned by Mary Aganowski, is Detroit’s oldest bar and is located on the east side of the city. Mary’s father, Harry Malak, bought the Two Way Inn in 1973 after visiting as a young man and promising to be back to buy the establishment. decades later after Harry passed away, the bar was passed onto Mary as she had worked and helped run the place since she was 17 years old.
Mary Malak Aganowski
Now as “New Detroit” becomes more of a reality, the old bar has new life. With a good cast of surrounding family and friends that help keep things moving along in today’s times, we continue to preserve the old feel of the bar. Mary is famous for her home cooking and elaborate first Sunday brunches which were called, “Bloody Sundays” . Bloody Sundays are now just “Danielle’s Sunday Brunch” as she has been infusing vodka’s with vegetables and other great flavors. Mary and Dan are still cooking as usual. In the winter, every Thursday Mary cooks up a huge batch of soup ranging from navy bean and ham to good old fashioned chicken soup. At this point, the Malak/Aganowski family has owned the bar for 41 years and will continue the run long into the future. To this day Mary still bar tends on every day that we are open from 12pm to 5pm.
Col. Philetus Norris
The Two Way Inn has been labeled by its patrons and stragglers as a dive bar. For those who truly know what a dive bar is, this coining is often challenged – “Well, this isn’t a dive bar at all”. At the end of the day, those who own, run, work and frequently patron this bar have a huge amount of pride and respect for what we are. A dive? We are hardly a dive in the sense of sight and smell but when it comes to culture and our prices, we are definitely more than welcoming and affordable. So shall we create and coin our own word to describe ourselves? How about “Fine Dive” – You could go “Fine Diving” for the night.
The Two Way Inn was converted back to an old school “Shot and a Beer Bar” back in the 70’s when Harry Malak took over ownership. Today the tradition still holds true as there are not any taps but rather we carry a wide verity of domestic, imported, and local craft beers including IPA’s. We have a large selection of whiskey and liquor at affordable prices. The Two Way Inn also has food dishes on select days including a Sunday brunch every first Sunday of each month during the winter.
You are a stranger here but once, so stop being a stranger!
You have to be BUZZED to get in!
Parking on Mount Elliott Street, Nevada Street and in rear of building.