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Posted on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 : 5:43 a.m.

Dan's Downtown Tavern a fine stop for pub fare in Saline

By Will Stewart

Note: Dan's has undergone an extensive renovation since this review appeared, including new handicapped-accessible bathrooms.


Outside of Dan's Downtown Tavern in Saline.

Angela J. Cesere |

Dan's Downtown Tavern, in Saline, is the kind of neighborhood bar that every neighborhood should have — a watering hole serving cold beer and good pub grub in a no-nonsense, friendly manner.

We were looking forward to a visit to Dan’s, having remembered a stellar burger there some years back while passing through Saline.

And, while the burger we enjoyed recently wasn’t quite the thing of beauty we remembered, it’s easy to see why Dan’s has established itself as a destination for Saline locals as well as out-of-towners.

Dan’s bills itself as “the little bar with a big atmosphere” and its menu bears this out. In addition to typical bar fare like burgers and wet burritos, Dan’s has a range of unusual salads and gourmet sandwiches, including an intriguing chicken cordon blue sandwich on a Kaiser roll.


Dan's Downtown Tavern
103 East Michigan Avenue, Saline
Dan's Downtown Tavern in restaurant guide

  • Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m..; Sunday, noon.-9 p.m.
  • Plastic: Visa and Mastercard.
  • Liquor: Yes.
  • Prices: Inexpensive to moderate. Burgers from $5, all entrees less than $10.
  • Value: Good.
  • Noise Level: Can be loud.
  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

We settled in for ice-cold beers from a well-tapped bar (Dan’s also has a full liquor selection) and chicken wings, good but a little scrawny and thirsty for more buffalo sauce. Burgers — fresh ground from Knight's Market and served on buns from Benny’s Market in Saline — were on the agenda for most of our party. In addition to standard options, Dan’s offers a selection of specialty burgers, including the Adrian burger — Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers — which arrived perfectly grilled to order, with the cheese fairly dripping off of it.

It was the kind of burger that Dan’s made its reputation on, and it was easy to see why.

Unfortunately, one burger — double stacked with American cheese — was overcooked to the point of bring dried out and flavorless, serving as the only real disappointment during our visit.

A friend’s steak salad featured tender meat, with the nice added touches of mozzarella and bleu cheeses, as well as dried cranberries.

We’d happily return to Dan's and its raucous, family-friendly atmosphere that makes you feel like a regular, even when you aren’t.

Will Stewart is a free-lance writer for


The interior of Dan's Downtown Tavern.

Angela J. Cesere |



Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

Great has a little patio out back with some tables/chairs and now they have a TV mounted on the wall outside so perfect for watching the Tigers games outside while you eat and drink! The tap beer selection is by far the best in Saline and would rival any A2 brew pub. They used to have karaoke on Saturday nights...not sure if they still do that but was fun while it lasted. The picture above is now only half of the space, they took over the spot next door and doubled in size. I suggest the peanut butter burger (not sure what the name is exactly) but it's peanut butter, bacon and cheddar and is to die for. Pairs well with a Great Lakes Dortmunder on tap! Very inexpensive, relaxed atmosphere and attentive wait staff... Thank you Dan's!!!

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Oct 18, 2010 : 6:47 p.m.

Love this little Pub. It is not smokey, the food is good at a good price. Beer is cold, and there is a lot to choose from. If you don't like to sit down relax and have a good meal that fills you up then maybe you may want to 5 course meal for $80 bucks across the street.


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 11:25 a.m.

Note to Dan....Always accept gift certificates. What little you think you lose on the transaction pales to the negative publicity you get from it. Remember, the customer is always right.


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

It was smoky and greasy in there, since the law changed it no longer smoky just greasy! I purchased gift certificates from WWWW Country as few years back and they refused to accept them. I would never go back there again. Over rated for sure. Much better Burger joints are around.


Sat, Jul 31, 2010 : 10:21 p.m.

gee nice review.I dont know much more about the the place than I did before the review except they serve cold beer and you had a dried out burger.


Sat, Jul 31, 2010 : 8:56 p.m.

Thanks for the review! Maybe the owner and cooks need to learn how to properly cook a burger. If it was dry, they probably mashed it down. That is one sure way to dry out a good burger! Attention Dan's this! " Do not press down on the burgers with the spatula during cooking - this only squeezes out the juices, encourages flame-ups and dries out the burger."