Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 10, 2010

Jack Kerouac Drank Here

Rustic Cabins, the suburban Detroit hangout of the King of the Beats

Okay, so where didn’t the father of the beat movement toss back a few. Or many.

We stopped at the Rustic Cabins tavern on Kercheval in Grosse Pointe Park last week for Bloody Marys on TJ’s birthday, and my guess is that—flat screen TVs aside—the joint hasn’t changed much since 1944 when Jack Kerouac drank there.

Classic bar decor, simple but good Bloody Mary, friendly and down-to-earth bartender

The Beat Generation author best known for his 1957 novel On the Road briefly lived and worked (and imbibed) in the area while married to Edie Parker, a Grosse Pointe gal he’d met in New York when both were students at Columbia University.

Their house was just a few blocks from the Rustic Cabins, and the bar made a convenient hangout for Kerouac. He didn’t dig the Detroit scene, though, and split after a few months.

Kerouac may have jotted ideas in his ever-present notebook in this log-lined booth

Edie Parker was the first of Kerouac’s three wives; she wrote about their relationship and the beginning of the beat movement in “You’ll be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac.”

Read more about the writer’s exploits in Detroit in a recent Metro Times article by John Cohassey.

The legendary Kerouac died in Florida of alcohol-related issues October 21, 1969.

TJ and I may have to pay another visit to the Rustic Cabins on March 12 to salute the 1922 birthdate of the “King of the Beats.” Wonder if we should wear our berets.

Rustic Cabins (no Web site)
15209 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park, MI  48230



  1. Cool place!

    • If those walls could talk.

  2. You soooo need to go back on the 12th wearing your berets! If those walls could talk is right! I spent many a nights at Rustic Cabins playing pool and darts… those beers went down way to quickly back in the day.

    • Okay, it’s settled. We’ll embarrass ourselves (no good at pool or darts) with a game in your honor. Or at least a drink.
      I think I saw your name carved into one of the booths!

  3. Really!!!??? Take a picture of it the next time you’re there…. too funny 😉

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