Trending
Most Read
  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Culture

Staying the course

A little record shop hangs on ... and on

Photo: , License: N/A

Barry and Josie Shantinique Beal inside their store


Barry Beal just doesn't give up.

He didn't give up when thieves broke into his store and stole nearly every single thing inside, plunging him into bankruptcy. He didn't give up after the big box stores started offering the same things he sells, but cheaper. And he didn't give up on the neighborhood he's in even as it vanished from around him.

His store, Shantinique Music and Sportswear, sits on a stretch of Harper that passes along blocks of grassy fields. It's very different now here than when he started, back when a thousand 45s of a new hit would sell in a single day, when the blocks around him were filled with kids eager to buy what the Billboard charts said was hot. Back when there was a neighborhood.

"Now there's like two houses on every block, or five houses on every block," the 59-year-old says. "It's a big difference."

If it weren't for his regular customers, he might be gone by now. Out here, in this east side neighborhood, where just about every little family business has moved or closed, the fact that Beal has stayed through the area's collapse has earned him a diehard loyalty.

"We're 'Moms' and 'Pop' and 'Auntie,'" says Beal's wife, Josie, 57, who works the front counter and whose middle name became the store's name when it opened decades ago. "In the neighborhood it's a term of endearment, like respect. They respect that you've been here for 30 years. You've watched them grow up, you're watching their kids grow up. If you're in the neighborhood they kind of have a different respect for you than somebody that came from outside of the neighborhood."

Still, the couple has had to furiously adapt to unwelcome changes to keep the store alive. When CDs began going the way of eight-track tapes, Beal added shoes and clothes to give his customers a reason to keep coming in. When massive chain stores started undercutting little independents like him, he poured his energy into customer service — remembering people's first names, asking about their families, walking them to an aisle instead of pointing in answer to a question. When the recession hit and profits plummeted, he cut back on purchases, let his bookkeepers go and took on the accounting himself just to make sure he could still keep the eight people he employs.

He's approaching retirement age, and it's been hard just to break even lately. But he can't just close the store, he says, because doing so affects not only him and his family, not only the neighborhood and his customers.

"I got peoples, too" he says. "I got one guy that's been working for me for 30 years. When I first started out it was like I was doing it for my kids and my grandkids, and then all of them grew up and I done grew past that. Now it's the peoples."

This store's long presence here signifies that not everyone has given up on this neighborhood, that someone still thinks there's life here, that the people who live out here deserve a decent local store that sells actual things.

"They've been there for years," says Wayne Neeley, 43, who lives two blocks and several fields over from the store. "And it's been great for the community."

Beal never planned on owning his own store. He had a succession of good city jobs — water department, lighting department, sanitation — but got roped into the record business by an overeager cousin. "I was just out partying with him one night, and he floated the idea about opening a record store," Beal says. 

The cousin was big on ideas but short on money. That's why he needed Beal, who borrowed $750 from his credit union to get the two of them started. He put $100 toward the first month's rent and used the rest to buy stacks of 45s. But their partnership didn't last long.

"To me he wasn't in it for the business part," Beal says. "I was doing all the business part and he was looking for all the glory. He would bring the girls to it at night and show them his store and show them how much money we made, and I'd be grinding there all day, building a business."

The final straw was one Christmas Eve, when one of the cousin's girlfriends caught him with another woman and kicked out every single one of the storefront's windows in anger. "The busiest day of the year!" Beal says. "That's when I split the partnership. I'm like, 'I can't take it. You're never here and your girlfriends are getting mad, tearing the place up. It's time to move on.'"

He started over, and soon brought his new wife on board. It remained the little neighborhood record store until he went to his first national music convention in Florida, and his ambition was ignited.

"I was down there with my one store, and everybody else had 50 stores, 60 stores. I'm like, wow. It really opened my eyes." He came home and quit his day job so he could create his own chain. "I realized I wasn't in a $10 business, I was in a $100 million business, and so it changed my whole outlook. I decided it's my life. Either I sink or swim."

He began opening satellite stores, at one point operating four at once. But the industry began radically changing, as did the city's economy, and record stores around town started dying off by the dozen. Beal fought a similar demise by adding other offerings he knew would be popular in the neighborhood — sneakers, jackets, clothing brands popularized by hip-hop stars. 

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus