LJ's Sweethart Bar? The Corktown dive once known as LJ's Lounge recently experienced a strange rebranding, ditching its no-frills signage for an overwhelming awning. If you were an LJ's devotee, do not panic--the change is purely superficial. Still, how does the rowdy biker bar from Detroit's Google Maps commercial end up with hearts on its storefront?
For the answer, we must take a quick trip back to late '70s /early '80s, where LJ's Lounge owners Robert and Sue Jones first met working in Cass Corridor's rowdy bar scene. After meeting at a watering hole known as Evergreen Bar, they began dating and eventually ended up managing Sweetheart Bar for their friend Joe Granado, who owned both businesses. That was the launch of a long co-career in the bar business, which culminated with the opening of LJ's Lounge in the mid-'80s.
According to Sue, the decision to rename LJ's after the original Sweetheart Bar is meant to honor Joe Granado, who passed away years ago. Though 3rd Street's strip of seedy bars and flophouses has long-since been almost entirely demolished, a few of the old buildings remain. These pics were undated but likely come from the 1970s.