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Downtown 51 Pontiac, MI

A long-time staple of downtown Pontiac was Bo’s. it was founded in 1996 as BO’s Brewery and Bistro by the owners Bo, Maureen, and Doug Young. Bo’s was a microbrewery with award-winning beers before it transitioned to become Bo’s Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant, by removing the brewery and bringing in a smoker capable of handling up to 450 pounds of meat. It was recently closed for remodeling and became Downtown 51, an upscaled version of it’s former neighborhood tavern, beer bar restaurant, ambiance.

Downtown 51 has maintained the excellent barbecue, but also added a much wider variety of entrées, sandwiches, appetizers and other items. The remodeling was a success because it maintained the comfortable feeling of Bo’s while cleaning everything up and giving the place an updated atmosphere with new appurtenances and a modern style that still works in the historically old building. It is an update that Chef Ramsey would likely have approved. I’d try to describe the makeover in more detail, but the pictures Detroit Metro Mashup took during our first visit there will give you a better idea of the motif than me continuing to ramble in text. Included are a few "before" and several "after" pictures to give you a bit of a feel for the changes. The pics don't correspond exactly to one another (we didn't have Detroit Metro Mashup in mind when we took the earlier pictures at Bo's), but you will discern the fresh new look.

We were nearly weekly denizens of Bo’s Brewery and Bistro, then Bo’s Smokehouse, and we intend to continue being regulars at Downtown 51. We highly recommend you give it a try, whether or not you previously ate at Bo’s.

Downtown 51
51 N Saginaw St,
Pontiac, MI 48342
(248) 338-6200
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