4 Ways to Support Black-Owned Businesses in Detroit

If anyone knows how to make the most of the winter months, it’s the people of Detroit. The experts at DefPen.com share some of their favorite places in Detroit where your dollar has the power to support Black entrepreneurs and creatives. 

Jamal Randall sitting in the Sukhasana yoga pose.
Jamal Randall, Owner of The Trap Yoga & Massage Studio | Photo Courtesy of Aaron Dawson

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1. A Speakeasy Date Night

As the first Black-owned cocktail bar in the city, Willow's sultry, stylish atmosphere is a fresh welcome to the downtown scene. Owners Ron Scott, J.D. Simpson and Roger Yopp, who also operate the Savannahblue, brought on mixologist and poet Andre Sykes to inform the cocktail menu.

Entering this space is its own adventure: Guests must ring a doorbell at a golden, tree-painted door where they’re monitored as they enter – mimicking the experience of an old speakeasy. Once inside, the intimate and moody interior creates the perfect vibe for your date night.

According to Sykes, the cocktail menu is meant to take you on a journey through African American history with ingredients influenced by his West Afro-Indian heritage. The Jamaican hibiscus drink sorrel is used in Fannie Ward No. 2, a rum-based cocktail that pays homage to the first Fannie Ward, which was invented by Black bartender Tom Bullock.

2. A Black-Owned Trolley – At Your Service

Wine and dine your way around Detroit and let this Black-owned trolley service escort you to your next stop. Grand Trolley is a private trolley service available for parties and large gatherings so you can move through the city in style. Book the Grand Trolley for your next holiday event or as a fun experience with the family.

A group of yoga students outside of The Trap Yoga & Massage Studio
The Trap Yoga & Massage Studio | Photo Courtesy of The Trap Yoga

3. Wind Down with a Massage and Trap Yoga

Falling off your resolutions already? This yoga and massage studio will give you ample reason to keep returning. For your new year, check out this local, Black-owned spa and fitness boutique – The Trap Yoga & Massage Studio.

As he embarked on the road to becoming a yoga instructor, owner Jamal Randall felt that he was often the only Black person in the room. Making matters worse, he felt that he wasn’t welcome in many of these rooms until he had proved himself to be a worthy practitioner. Determined to create a space where everybody felt at ease and free to be themselves, he established The Trap Yoga & Massage Studio.

Whether you’re in need of a good, sweaty yoga session or a place where you can comfortably pursue a new exercise routine, The Trap has you covered.

4. Learn About the Past to Appreciate the Present

If you’re looking to broaden your lens on the African diaspora, stop by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in downtown Detroit. This remarkable cultural space houses over a dozen permanent and visiting exhibitions. Explore original costume designs by two-time Academy Award-winner Ruth E. Carter in “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” or learn about the African American experience and resilience in the permanent exhibition “And Still We Rise.” You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the significance of Black history both within the United States and around the world.

Adapted for michigan.org. Originally published on DefPen.com on Jan. 11, 2023.