- 21600 Dequindre, Warren, MI, 48091
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- Bowling 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., live music 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat.
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Status: Cadillac Jack’s provides a mixed bag of treats thanks in part to some recent diversification by owner Jim Strobl.
“Entertainment is so competitive today that we really have to take our facility into the 21st Century,” Strobl, 68, says. “I think the entertainment needs are changing, and I’m trying to get on board. Young people want their entertainment under one roof.”
The Warren rock ‘n’ roll bowling facility delivers plenty to do within the walls of its 32,000 square-foot building. There’s the disco-theme night club called the Fleetwood Lounge which offers music from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s Wednesday thru Saturday, the Eldorado Rock Room with live rock, country, blues and rockabilly performances Fridays and Saturdays and the bowling alley itself.
The rock room made its public debut June 22 after Strobl and his partners made the tough decision to transform 16 of the 32 lanes in the bowling alley to a live music venue. The club has been around for 28 years.
“What we’re trying to do here is join the new things that are happening in the bowling industry,” says Strobl whose family built its first bowling center in 1941. To cater to the casual bowler, Cadillac Jack’s will offer cosmic bowling complete with smoke and lights, a sharp departure from the brand of bowling that attracts league bowlers.
“There just aren’t enough competitive bowlers to fill my center anymore,” Strobl says. “People today are reluctant to join up for 35 weeks. It was a big decision to ask the (competitive) bowlers to leave because they were my friends.”
Gear: Sporting a bowling shirt and shoes may make you look like a hipster at some venues, but here, you’ll blend right in. Expect to see an assortment of clothing from people dressed in club wear to people rockin’ their favorite band t-shirt with jeans.
Mood: A waist-high wall may be all the separates the bowling alley and the music venue, but mismatched bronze chandeliers, a ceiling that reveals metal beams and a theater-like stage help diversify the spaces. You don’t have to look too closely at the wood floors in the Rock Room to see that they were once bowling lanes.
“I think it looks beautiful,” says Romeo Patterson, 39, of Detroit who has worked security at the Warren venue for three years. “They did a good job here. They’re trying to develop into something that’s positive for everyone.”
Robert Viers, who has frequented the club in the past, agrees. “It’s brilliant -- the antique chandeliers, how it’s separate from the club. It has the potential to be great again,” says the 36-year-old Warren resident.
In the nightclub room, neon lights glitter off of a spinning disco ball above a parquet dance floor.
“It’s a good place to have a good time,” Patterson says. “This is a good old-school place where people can relax and have a good time. Once they come here, they’re going to want to come back.”
Pick me up: Strobl has hired a chef who will design a menu that Strobl describes as “upscale bowling food.” It will consist of chicken wings, quesadillas, burgers, fries and pizza. Expect to pay around $20 for a night of food and bowling at Cadillac Jack’s, Strobl says.
Entertainment: “As much as (Michigan) is known for music, we’re still starved for stages,” says Benny Speer of the band Benny and the Jets. “Cadillac Jack’s setup caters to a concert showcase rather than a dingy bar. It’s going to be good for the music scene.”
Los Cavachos and Controlled Chaos performed opening night. The Detroit Blues Crew will perform this Friday and Diamondback will take the stage Saturday.
“Am I going to attract the Royal Oak, Ferndale crowds? I’d like to get a piece of that,” Strobl says. With more than 400 secure parking spaces, security throughout the venue and the draw of national acts, Strobl is hopeful. “Detroit is one of the top concert venues, and people will pay to see a good product. Our goal is not to be a neighborhood bar with a band. We’d like to start booking national bands in August.”
“In the fall, we’re going to get real aggressive,” with bands performing seven nights a week Strobl says. The majority of the music will be classic rock, country rock and rockabilly, but there may be other genres of music as well.