Jägermeister | Best Nights | Explore Detroit with Dontae Rockymore

Best Nights

Your Best Nights Begin Here

Photo Feb 14 2020 6 10 39 AM 1

Explore Detroit with Dontae Rockymore

The Best Nights section will take you on a local’s tour through the eyes and personal experiences of artists, photographers, bloggers, musicians, etc., showcased in a different city every month. In March, we tour Detroit, with Dontae Rockymore, and he shows us how to have the best nights of our lives in his favorite neighborhood.

Scroll down to take a tour with Dontae.

    Tour of Detroit

    Dontae Rockymore

    Tell us about your journey through the hospitality industry.

    I got my start in hospitality at a place called Black Finn Ameripub working as a Door Guy and Security around 2012. During this time, I started shooting events for Detroit Metro Times and got my first TV job working as an associate producer and behind the scenes camera operator for a TV Show called Ask Dr. Nandi, later renamed to The Dr Nandi Show. In February 2014 I started working for Live Nation at The Fillmore in Detroit working as a door guy and security. Around this time, I acquired a part time position working as a lighting engineer and camera operator at the Word Network and Metro Times Detroit brought me in as a paid staff photographer. This is when everything began for me.

    I spent almost 2 years working for the TV Show, The Word Network, Metro Times and as a general freelance photographer/camera operator. During that time, I became the resident photographer for an EDM club called Grasshopper Underground in Ferndale MI. Everything I shot was published and eventually I had to quit the Fillmore after I spent more time shooting Live Nation Events for Metro Times than I did as a Door Guy at the Fillmore. I took the plunge into full time media, events and nightlife and never looked back.

    That marked the beginning of the transition to what is now “The New Detroit”. The new sleek, hipster mixed with a little young professional Detroit.

    I’m retired from regular nightlife now and I get to enjoy it vs being a part of it and I do love being treated like a local celebrity for the work that I have put in over the years, so I do step out from time to time to support friends as new businesses and opportunities for fun pop up monthly! Detroit loves me and I’ll always love Detroit back. This city made me.

    Dontae Rockymore Party

    If you only had one day to spend in your city, what are the top 5 things you must see or do?

    We have several hidden gems with all the new stuff popping up so number one on the list has to be getting a coney from somewhere. I’d start downtown at Lafayette or American (I say Lafayette). We have a dope park system so I would explore that. Each one is super unique with different businesses and food opportunities surrounding. If you you have to choose one, then for sure go with Campus Martius because it’s at the Center of downtown, and about 2 blocks north of the Joe Louis fist statue and Hart Plaza. If you are into landmarks the fist is a good one.

    Campus Martius is surrounded by everything so I’d take a walk to check out the city. I’d check out Monroe Midway for some Roller Skating in the summer or Ice Skating in the winter. Then I’d head over to The Belt and check that out, then I’d actually head back to Campus Martius and go straight up Woodward and explore. As you go north you will hit everything from the Nike Store to Little Cesar’s Arena, to Garden Bowl/Magic Stick which can be enjoyed all day because there’s bowling on the bottom half and a house music club on the upper level. Greek Town I’ve always loved and if you can check out any of the Casinos, I’d try out all 3 food courts and entertainment options. If you have time to leave that part of Detroit, an area I love is the 8 mile and Livernois area. All down Livernois there are new businesses and new ones coming almost every few months. Finally, if you want to check out some nightlife then there are several places to go depending on the vibe you like. If you want a list of those places or need to be linked with the right people, then I’m usually a good resource so DM me on IG.

    Midtown, Corktown, Campus Martius, Greektown, Mexican Town, 8 mile and Livernois, Belle Isle. Be sure to check out our pro soccer team Detroit City FC at home. It’s a non-stop raging good time! Our city is known for our raves and techno shows and every weekend there is at least one massive show at the Russell Industrial Center. If you like EDM of any kind it’s something you want to check out.

    Tell us about your first experience with Jägermeister and your favorite way to consume it today.

    In college we drank Jägermeister and the blue monster energy drink!!

    I’m 37 now and I rarely drink anymore but If I were to drink Jager now I’d probably mix with root beer and sip on that!

    Tell us how to have the ‘Best Night of your Life’ in your city from your perspective.

    It depends on the night, but Saturdays are usually a good night everywhere in Detroit so let’s roll with the typical Saturday, in the summer…

    I’m super simple so depending on what you are into, you may not like this ideal night. I would do a 6pm Dinner at either Towhouse Detroit, Parq Detroit of one of the Greektown Restaurants like Golden Fleece! Then I’d attend a show at the Fillmore, game at one of our arenas or a comedy show at one of the new comedy spots downtown. Then I’d go for a night cap at either Magic Stick or this place called Honest Johns that has a kitchen that’s open late or if you can skip that and go to one of our Barcades downtown if you are a fan of booze and video games. Afte the Barcade, I’d for sure find a Coney Island restaurant to feed my face. We do have an after hrs culture here and that goes until about 4 am or 5 am on good nights if you like to go later! The best time to come to Detroit, in my opinion, is during our Movement Festival in May. Labor Day weekend is the absolute best in Detroit and people come from all over to celebrate. Our city has many options but to me this is an ideal night.

    Dontae Rockymore Pose

    Get To Know

    Dontae Rockymore

    I’m born and raised in Ecorse & Southwest Detroit. I’m from what’s known as the Downriver area of Detroit. If you check out the BMF Series on Starz, that’s the area I grew up in. I’m a freelance photographer and content producer now based out of Royal Oak Michigan. I’m a Specs Howard School of Media Arts Graduate. I worked in TV and Film and as a security guard at night before going full time with Event Photography around 2017 when I won Metro Times Detroit’s Best Photographer for the first time. Fast forward to now I’m considered the go-to guy for event photography. It’s been a great run, and I love Detroit because the city embraces everything I do.

    How long have you been in this city? 37 years

    Hobbies and what you do in your downtime. Travel, swimwear photography, learn new things, try different food

    Accolades and accomplishments as they relate to your role. Metro Times Best of Photographer 2017 & 2019 / Multipublished

    April 2023
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