There's a bar in Delray (Detroit) that they filmed some outside shots at. The bar was called "Ideal" and had been closed since 1986. The old man who owned the bar had to purchase the house next door in order to have access to the cement stairway between the buildings to get to the outside basement level of the bar. The old man told everyone on the cast and crew who would listen how it took him so long to purchase the bar and to talk the old lady that owned the house to sell to him although he didn't want the house (he only wanted the cement staircase that led to the basement level). Shortly after the filming at the bar (which took place in late July 2012) the old man torched the house next door for the insurance money.
Although Jim Jarmusch wanted to shoot this movie on film and has a general distaste for digital cinematography, he had to use the Arri Alexa for budgetary reasons. He managed to work with low lighting and specific lenses in order to come up with a look he found acceptable enough to work for him.