Sure, it would’ve been natural for former Red Wings player Dino Ciccarelli to open a sports bar, but this Canadian-born 48-year-old shunned the obvious to score big with one of Macomb County’s only retro-dance clubs.
“What do you think of the club?,” he asks casually as he sat at a table off the dance floor sipping Red Bull and Pravda vodka with some friends.
Well, the success of the nearly two-year-old club speaks for itself. Named after Ciccarelli’s Red Wings jersey number, Club 22 is comfortably full with 30-somethings on Friday nights and jam-packed with ‘80s babies on Saturdays.
“It’s a little more laid back on Friday,” says Manager Tamara Yancy says. “The younger crowd comes on Saturday.”
“We get over 1,000 people every Saturday,” adds Security Director Anthony Licata.
While the attire is more casual than club wear, patrons are not allowed to wear T-shirts, tennis shoes or baseball caps.
“We’re pretty strict on dress,” Yancy says.
Most people sport jeans, Polos (for guys), cute tanks (for girls) and shoes they can dance in. Guys are not allowed to wear flip flops.
With “Brick House” by the Commodores blazing from the speakers, a five-foot disco ball hanging from the ceiling and cute servers providing libations, how could the mood be anything but upbeat?
“We came to celebrate my bachelorette party,” says Michelle, who danced with a large group of friends before heading to the bar. “It’s so much fun.”
There are no wallflowers at this joint where hand-painted murals of Madonna (pre-Guy Ritchie), Michael Jackson (pre-molestation charges) and Billy Idol (pre “The Wedding Singer”) evoke the spirit of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. A raised platform gives exhibitionists a chance to show off their moves and black circular café tables around the main dance floor provide people a place to recuperate.
Forgot how to do the Running Man? Check out one of the 10 flat screen, wall-mounted TVs showing old skool music videos.
A slightly raised VIP area off the main dance floor gives big-wigs a place to shake their groove thangs. It comes with its own bar, small dance area and disco ball.
There are four bars, including a bomb bar where you can order just about any kind of bomb drink you can think of. Jagerbombs, Irish Car Bombs, Cherry Bombs -- they’ve got it. There’s no food, but drink specials galore make up for that.
Ladies drink for $1 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays. Long Island Iced Teas are $3 on Friday, and you can often find Sex on the Beach and bottled beer discounted. Drinks average $3.75.
Aside from staring at past and present Red Wing players who occasionally make their way to the club, house DJ Marquis keeps things
energetic with a mix of music like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Salt-N-Pepa “Push it and “It’s Tricky” by Run D.M.C.
“On Saturday, we do ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s ‘til around midnight, then we’ll put in some top 40 so we make both age groups happy,” Yancy says.
Ese Esan is all about Detroit nightlife. Email the one and only D-scenester at firstname.lastname@example.org