The polar opposite of a hole-in-the wall club, Elysium’s massive columns and tall wooden doors stand like indicators in the heart of downtown Detroit proclaiming the goods inside. An ordinary building during the day, this spot transforms at night like Clark Kent shedding his signature glasses to become Superman.
Simple glowing colored lights on the white columns illuminate the former bank building in the financial district on Shelby three nights a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as owners Sean Davis and Ivid Bahoura pull in clubbers 21 and up from all over metro Detroit.
Davis and Bahoura brought in a Miami architect from Telesco Associates who has designed clubs in New York, Chicago and Miami to renovate what was a bank to the attractive club it is today.
“If you haven’t been to it, shame,” Davis says.
“Chic, clubby attire,” Davis says. Translation: No athletic wear, baggy jeans or baseball caps. Bartenders and bouncers rock the black on black knock-out combo.
Most ladies wore colorful, sexy dresses while keeping it classy. Guys have it pretty easy with jeans, designer tees and button-up shirts, but do take care when picking out your kicks because tennis shoes are not allowed.
There are plenty of places to play in this bi-level club complete with multiple VIP areas and booths, four bars and a raised stage. The second level is reserved for the who’s who and comes complete with its own bar. The DJ spins from an elevated location and glass windows protect the second floor VIP crowd from potential falls while not prohibiting the unbelievable view of the party action down below.
“This is the nicest bar in Detroit,” says 23-year-old Joey Y. of Sterling Heights, who appreciates “the whole design.”
Elysium retains the common-place dark club feel while mixing in multi-colored lights which fill the space with a romantic glow and other warm effects.
“You feel like you’re outside of the city,” Davis says. “Our goal was to give Detroit something that they haven’t seen in this area. I would call it sexy, posh, swanky.”
Modern and old school merge seamlessly as a stunning old-fashioned chandelier is suspended from the ceilings, velvet-lined booths hug the walls and a large LED board hangs from a wall.
“It’s a nice environment, nice lighting, nice drinks,” says Sierra Wheaton of Sterling Heights who comes to Elysium three to four times a month. “It’s an upscale nightclub. It’s not full of a bunch of little kids running around.”
Pick me up
Take your pick from the long, oval-shaped bar in the center of the club, the bar off the dance floor, or the one tucked away in the Cosmo Bar (a room on the main floor with a bar off to the side where you can talk without screaming) for your choice of drinks. Bottle service is extensive and will run you anywhere from $100 for Moet to $5,995 for a 1.75 liter of Remy Martin “louis XIII.”
There’s always something going on at Elysium, but you can catch old school Sundays hosted by WJLB’s Cheron with Kim the Spin Doctor James and DJ Blast every week with free hustle lessons at 8 p.m.