Highland Park's First Bar In Decades Set For Grand Opening

April 19, 2019 - 8:42 am

HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) - It's a big day in the City of Highland Park as the first bar and restaurant in about three decades is ready to open its doors.   

Friday is the grand opening of Woodward Ave Bar and Grille located just south of Highland Park City Hall.

photo: WWJ/Vickie Thomas

Lawrence Johnson sold his rental properties and raided his 401k to follow his dream of opening the neighborhood gathering spot. He's pumped about $400,000 into turning what used to be an eyesore into the only public bar and grille in the city -- and he's done most of the work himself.

"Everybody's been telling me that it's like a monumental thing, but I didn't set out to do that. I just wanted to basically leave my job and start my own business so that I could give back to the community," Johnson told WWJ's Vickie Thomas. 

Features include a wrap-around bar with dangling lights made from liquor bottles, as well as a fenced-in patio area.