I don’t remember who first told me about The Last Word. A friend, maybe, or a friend of a friend. It could have been when I asked musicians coming through town where they were going after a show. Or maybe it was someone else entirely. I just can’t remember. But that’s the kind of place The Last Word is — you have to hear about it from someone, you don’t just find it. I feel a bit bad writing about it, honestly, because this word-of-mouth nature is a large part of the charm. Down by the edge of town, by the tracks, its nearly unmarked door is the sort of thing you would miss if you weren’t looking for it, the only indication that there’s something there behind the brick wall being a small plaque engraved with “The LW.” Once you find it, though, it’s a bar experience you can’t find anywhere else in Ann Arbor. A lazy writer would use the word “classy” to describe its interior, and that seems about as good a way to put it as any. Once you pass through the door, you’re ushered into a dimly lit, medium sized room that gives off a vauguly speakeasy vibe. There are old books scattered around the space, and the menu is broken into “chapters,” from which one can select drinks ranging from artisanal beers to handcrafted cocktails to an impressive selection of whiskeys. If you come on Wednesdays (as I tend to do), there is a special discount off whiskey. Thursdays there’s live jazz. Everyday the (chipotle) fries are to die for. But at the end of the day, out of all the bars in Ann Arbor, The Last Word is incontestably head and shoulders above the rest.

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