- 33151 Twenty-Three Mile, Chesterfield Twp., MI, 48047
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- Fridays and Saturdays and when there is a concert
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Status: “If the Hayloft and the Machine Shop had a baby, it would be Diesel.” So says Mike Mitchell, co-owner of the new Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield Township.
Mitchell, former owner of the Emerald Theatre and Hayloft in Mt. Clemens, teamed up with Joe Sgroi, owner of Macomb County establishments the Ritz, New York New York and Premier Lanes, on the new club, which opened Saturday. The 17,000-square-foot, 500-person Diesel is in the Premier Lanes complex, which used to be the home of country music club Diamonds & Spurs.
Last weekend’s coming-out concert featured live music from local hip-hop artist Hush, the Howling Diablos and Kaleido.
Gear: “Come as you are,” Mitchell says. “We’re not fancy.”
Guys kept things informal Saturday night with jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts, while the ladies stepped it up a bit with tops that seemed more club-friendly than casual.
Short shorts, strategically ripped T-shirts and spaghetti straps showcased the youthful figures of the female staff members who wore black tanks and T-shirts with the Diesel logo branded in white.
Mood: “It’s like a little city in there,” Mitchell says of the 47,000-square-foot Premier Lanes complex. “There are so many different things to do.”
The complex contains Premier Lanes bowling alley, music club New York New York, Italian restaurant Guiliano’s and now Diesel. “That’s something the Emerald and the Hayloft never had,” Mitchell says. “We can offer more for your dollar.”
“We were surprised that it’s in a bowling alley, but while you’re in here, you don’t think of the bowling alley at all until you step out there,” said Sandy Grohola, who made a 45-minute drive from Dearborn with Lawrence Hardyniec to attend last weekend’s grand opening. “It’s definitely interesting.”
After walking through the bowling alley to get to Diesel, you’re greeted by framed rock posters and memorabilia hanging on the bright-blue walls. Hand prints from Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock, Megadeth and Tommy Lee hang behind the bar.
“I dig the whole vibe of the rock ’n’ roll posters,” said 34-year-old John Kolas of Clinton Township. “With the Emerald and the Hayloft going by the wayside, hopefully this is the rebirth of the next major spot.”
Parquet floors create a dance area in front of the raised stage, and high-top tables and chairs surround the outer edge of the carpeted space.
“It’s an intimate, cool place,” Mitchell says. “The vibe is very reminiscent of the Hayloft in its heyday.”
Shelby Township resident Nate Hellebuyck, 27, said he didn’t know what to expect when visited the new Chesterfield venue, but liked what he saw.
“This area needed something because it was lacking venues with the Hayloft and the Emerald closing.”
Pick me up: Diesel has a full bar with bottled beer and a couple on tap. Italian cuisine — pizzas, lasagna, ravioli and more — comes courtesy of nearby Guiliano’s Ristorante.
Entertainment: The concert calendar is still a work in progress, but upcoming events include the Juaggalo Jumpoff with DJ Clay on Feb. 2, Memphis rapper Lil Wyte on Feb. 8 and local rockers Ghosts of August on March 15.
“It’s going to be real similar to what I did at the Hayloft and the Emerald — mostly rock with a little bit of hip-hop,” Mitchell says. “You’re going to get a unique concert experience.”