Between 1920 and 1933, the United States prohibited the production, transportation, sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and spirts.
In Canada, the good times continued to flow which proved to be a lucrative advantage for the Detroit area. Alcohol became a hot commodity and many were willing to risk life and freedom to quench America’s thirst.
The Detroit area, with its proximity of large bodies of water that lead to the shadowy shores of Canada, became a hot bed for bootlegging. In fact, it is estimated that as much as 75 percent of all the alcohol smuggled into the United States during Prohibition crossed the border between Windsor and Detroit. “Rum running” had become Detroit’s second largest industry and some 25,000 speakeasies operated in the area.
Blossom Heath Inn, in St. Clair Shores, was one of the most infamous speakeasies. Its location on Lake St. Clair made it a perfect place for contraband alcohol to be received, distributed and consumed. Now owned by the city, Blossom Heath will once again become a speakeasy, if only for one evening.
Join with the city and Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative for the Second Annual Bootlegger Bash on Friday, October 27th from 6 to 11 p.m. The event will feature a strolling dinner, casino games, and live music from the Michele Ramo World Jazz Trio and a local favorite, The Orbitsuns.
The strolling dinner will feature a scrumptious array of delectable including Great Gatsby Fried Chicken, potato beignets, caprese skewers, fried ravioli and much more. Bartenders will serve specialty cocktails with a nod to the Roaring Twenties including the Gin Rickey (Makers Mark, lime, club soda), French 75 (champagne, lemon juice, gin), Mary Pickford (Rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, maraschino liquor), and a Bootleg Cocktail (vodka, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, mint, club soda). Wine and beer will also be served, including Bud Light, Labatt Blue, and Atwater Purple Gang Pilsner.
Casino Games include blackjack, craps and roulette. Your winnings become tickets for a unique raffle of locally sourced gift baskets.
With Halloween right around the corner, attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite Roaring Twenties outfits for a chance to win great prizes!
Tickets are $35 and may be purchased through the Bootlegger Bash Facebook Event Page or www.ci.saint-clair-shores.mi.us or at the cashier’s office at St. Clair Shores City Hall. Ticket must be purchased by October 22 and will not be available at the door.
Amanda Minaudo is a senior planner in the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. She often contributes to the Make Macomb Your Home Blog, writing about the many fun and exciting things to see and do around Macomb County.