Owners Rick Sadlowski and Chris French

The Brass Monkey - Partying Like It's 1999

Remember going out on a Saturday partying like it's 1999? Rick Sadlowski and Chris French do and they're recreating that vibe at one of Wyandotte's newest bars called Brass Monkey.

The bar is an eclectic combination of a gastropub and a weekend '90s dance club, thanks to French and Sadlowski's experience as metro Detroit DJs.

Housed in the former home of Rookies, 1519 Oak St., French and Sadlowski completely refaced the bar, opening up the windows and putting on a fresh coat of paint.

"It's a whole different vibe and atmosphere," Sadlowski said. "We're really catering towards that 30 and up crowd."

And the crowd reflects that, Sadlowski said, because their DJs play tracks from Madonna and Prince and other "good, quality dance music from back in the day."

All of Brass Monkey's food is 100 percent made from scratch with gourmet butter burgers as a menu cornerstone.

French explains that the burgers are the culmination of a 6,5000-mile, cross-country road trip, which he and his wife took.

"While we were on the road trip I made a commitment to hit the best burger joint I could in America and I just went to major cities and I asked, 'Who's got the best burger?' and I went there and I ate their burger," he said. "And I went all the way around the country — 6,500 miles later, I came back with the inspiration for our classic butter burger and it's our feature item for Brass Monkey."

The burgers are made with ground chuck, brisket and short rib Angus beef, grilled to order and finished with herb butter. Each burger is served with lettuce, tomato and onion on a butter toasted Vitale's brioche bun.the brass monkey bar

Along with the gourmet butter burgers, French said his road trip also inspired the option for "frings" on the menu.

"Frings are a thing west of Colorado," French said. "You get a half portion of french fries and a half portion of onion rings. So you never have to have your friend order the onion rings and you order the french fries — everyone gets what they really want."

The menu is rounded out with an impressive menu of shareable appetizers, salads with housemade dressings and more. All made with no sign of a freezer in the kitchen.

Every item is made fresh and locally sourced, the owners stressed.

French and Sadlowski said their menu items might be a dollar more expensive than others in the area, but the quality more than makes up for it.

"Fresh and locally-sourced food doesn't always come out to be the cheapest stuff," French said. "The cheapest stuff comes out of a bag, out of a box and it comes out of a freezer truck."

Behind the bar, Brass Monkey features roughly 30 Michigan craft beers — including Founders, Bell's and Rochester Mills Beer Co. — as well as a variety of craft cocktails.

In addition to the main dining area, Brass Monkey touts a banquet hall available for weddings, graduation parties, showers, bereavement luncheons and more.

The hall is called Sophia's in honor of French's aunt and Sadlowski's mother, who both shared the name.

The banquet hall is open seven days a week for booking, and Sadlowski said they are offering some "incredible wedding packages," which go hand in hand with the owners' other business, Metro Music Entertainment, a well-known DJ service for weddings and other special events.

Above all else, Sadlowski said he and French would like their potential customers to know they really care about each customer.

"We really try to be personable and we like to touch base with tables and say hi to people and make friends with everyone," he said.

Brass Monkey is at 1519 Oak St. and is open 2 p.m. to midnight Sundays and Mondays and 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information call the bar at 734-281-9419.


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