Reporter Food: Dakota Inn Rathskeller in Detroit

Reporter Food: Dakota Inn Rathskeller in Detroit

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 13, 2018)

Detroit, MI – In Germany, a rathskeller is a beer hall or pub in a basement where folks could gather together and discuss community issues and gossip, while drinking strong beer, and sometimes singing.

Yes, singing.

At 17324 John R St in Detroit, the singing has been happening since founder Karl Kurz first turned a dilapidated Chinese hand-laundry into Dakota Inn Rathskeller in August 1933.

Reminiscent of restaurants in his hometown of Wiekersheim Germany, Kurz became known for Dakota Inn chicken dinners and other old world German fare. They’re also a popular hot spot during Oktoberfest where patrons can don chicken hats and try the latest beers.

A friend and I were newbies to the Rathskellar experience, but we had a wonderful time singing along with the man on a raised stage piano, and a room full of other patrons.  There were songs we all knew and others that only fans of German culture and decades past might know.  The building itself is listed on the State Register of Historic sites, and is filled with artwork and antiques. There’s even still a phone booth.

Vowing to come back another time for a full meal, my friend and I shared a cheese and sausage board with Gouda cheese, summer sausage and pretzels.  We also got an order of potato pancakes called Kartoffelpuffer, and a side of Sauerkraut.

And we drank.  German beer for him, some pear-flavored mixed drink for me.

It was fun. Yummy food. Happy group of friends at the next table celebrating a birthday. A rousing sing-along of “Schnitzelbank.”

Check them out online at

Want to check out other great food suggestions, visit our REPORTER FOOD section.

About the author

Oakland County Times has written 14081 articles for Oakland County Times

Contact for any questions or story ideas! Please support this work by becoming an advertising sponsor or by chipping in through the PayPal button on the right side of the page.

Comments are closed.