Best of Detroit 2012
Spend the Night - Staff Picks
Our staff picks for nightlife in Metro Detroit
Published: April 25, 2012
Best Club to Get It on Semi-Metaphorically
15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-599-2212;
Timing is everything in this life, and the stunning word-of-mouth rise of such electronic artists as, say, Deadmau5 and Skrillex, shows us how this Pontiac venue is more than a mere finger pistol at the genre. Sure, the rave and dance scene went legit a while back, in a way, but dance-music heads were without a home where they could count on shimmying to big-name DJs in a space that might allow them to, um, glow and groove. Elektricity changed that. The club sits in the heart of Pontiac's entertainment strip and is solely designed to bring you electronic superstars from around the world, as well as local DJs galore. Dubfire and Ferry Corsten are headlining in the coming weeks and months, and every Sunday provides the opportunity to get sexy surreal in an illuminating way when partiers go all out for GloOut. Bang a gong!
Best New "Venue" for Inventive Music and Pool
The Loving Touch
22634 Woodward Ave, Ferndale; 248-546-3644
For a while now the Loving Touch has been something of a scenester's hub — we say that lovingly. Until recently, Ferndale's billiard hall (named for a decades-gone massage parlor that had inhabited its space) was the quick and dirty go-to joint for whenever there wasn't that much else going on — decent juke, decent beer, decent access to shooting pool and perhaps a fairly regular sprinkling of your other area friends who probably got the same idea. A recurring theme in local conversations was when the hell Ferndale might get its own Lager House — not some replica, but a modest joint where the underground, up-and-comers and smaller touring bands could roll in with some regularity (backed by a decent sound system). Well, the LT has boosted its music programming of late, and you can expect even more, as management is about to install a first-class sound system. And the new musical milieu? Owner Chris Johnston says they'll break "off some of the mold of the live music model," but expect inventive, quirky and interactive shows such as the current rock 'n' roll tacos events or the "In the Forest" DJ series on Tuesdays. No longer will this be the casual alternative, but a proper competitor for exciting live music entertainment.
Best Alternative to the Dreaded Elevator Pitch
Detroit Soup, Ferndale Soup
Detroit Soup: 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit; email@example.com; soupdetroit.com
Ferndale Soup: 2350 Burdette St., Ferndale;
Soup is good food. Sure. But when you mix good food with good ideas? Great things can happen. Case in point: Detroit Soup. The setup is powerfully simple. Whether you're pitching an idea or just eating and listening, you pay $5 for a fresh, homemade soup meal. Have an idea that can make a difference in the community? Sign up to make your pitch. Make it short and pithy. Be specific and engaging. Then sit and eat homemade soup and chat with either the folks against whom your idea is "competing" or with the folks who will be voting on which idea will, at the end of the night, get between $600 and $900 in startup cash. If you're not pitching, just show up — meetings are at night — listen, eat and vote. Participatory, connective, self-sustaining entrepreneurship? So totally Detroit. Detroit Soup has made enough cultural inroads that folks in other communities have taken up the idea for their own situations. Case in point: Ferndale, which now has its own Soup night. Simple sustenance. Simply brilliant.
Best Place to Get Yer Work on at Night
165 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-542-2438; javahuttferndale.com
Want to settle in somewhere for serious stints of getting shit done with — just, maybe — not too much seriousness. Java Hutt's the ideal encampment. Many local band members, crafters and artists slide through this caffeine-kick chute on their morning commutes — which suggests an inspirado formula in their gourmet brews. But the slow-burning onset of jitters will leave plenty of time to lounge in the dimly lit cafe that also offers divine sandwiches, dips, baked stuff, salads and other healthy sides, as well as the local art hanging on the walls and free Wi-Fi. Suddenly, a curious conga line of oddball locals step through yapping a bit too much after you're a half-hour into cramming for an exam or hacking out some term paper, maybe even writing this very blurb. But you sip more, another half-hour passes, maybe, and — zip-zop-whoa — you're done.
Best Place for a 40-Ounce and Grub at Closing Time
488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-5646;
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