Status: Sam Cooke said “A Change is Gonna Come.” Mike Mitchell says that change is here.
The Hayloft in Mt. Clemens celebrated its re-grand opening this past weekend after closing in early 2007 and reopening as the Keys that spring.
“The Hayloft has been around for nearly 30 years with the exception of the last two years when they switched formats to a dueling piano bar and changed the name to the Keys,” says Mitchell, who was the general manager and talent buyer from 2004-2006. He currently owns the Hayloft with band mates Critical Bill.
“After an unsuccessful stint under the new format, the original owner Ron Masters called me to discuss the possibility of returning to the club. After several meetings, we came to an agreement and partnered up to bring back the Hayloft.”
With a focus on local and national rock music, the Hayloft’s return brought back die-hard rockers and long-time Hayloft fans.
“I’m glad that it’s back,” says 25-year-old Kim Wachowski of Fraser. “It’s kind of like the hometown place to go out and rock 'n' roll -- it’s great.”
Gear: Grab a pair of jeans, your favorite printed tee, comfy sweats or a button-up shirt and enjoy -- it’s all about comfort at the Hayloft.
Mood: “Hayloft has been given a great, new look,” Mitchell says. “We are trying to take the best concert venue in the area and make it 10 times better. New plasma TVs, an updated sound-and-light system and a great new staff -- the minute you walk through the doors you will know that the Hayloft is back and better then ever.”
The exposed wood-beam ceiling in the rockin’ barn-like building hangs over a rectangular bar edged with corrugated metal. A few booths line one of the walls while old concert posters and live band pics line another.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 18, so I’m glad it turned back to the Hayloft,” says 24-year-old Holly Stringfield of St. Clair Shores, who is friends with the Hayloft owners and the opening weekend headliners Critical Bill.
Thenty-three-year-old Jace Nichols of Detroit visited the Keys on two occasions and found “it was too slow.
“I like it how it is now,” he says.
An outdoor brick patio boasts café tables and wooden stools, and a large wood platform allows for additional seating at this unpretentious hang.
Pick me up: You’re in luck if you’re on a liquid diet because that’s all that’s available here. Beer seems to be the drink of choice with different specials most nights.
Entertainment: A concert area with a bar, disco ball, DJ booth and stage allows the Hayloft to shine as a premiere concert venue in the great music city of Detroit.
“We pride ourselves as having great sound, a great room to experience a concert and the best staff in town,” Mitchell says. “We want every band to make this their favorite place to play and every customer their favorite place to see live music.”
Core Effect, Babcock, Shotgun Opera and Tyranny opened for national act Days of the New this past Friday while party goers rocked out to Facture, Krank Nine, Arazi and Critical Bill Saturday.
“We generally do rock shows, but have done every genre of music imaginable,” Mitchell says. “We do live music Friday through Sunday and usually open at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and earlier on Sunday for our all ages shows.”
Wednesdays are "Made In Detroit Wednesdays" with no cover, 18+ and $2 drinks all night. Live acts scheduled include the Dirty Americans (Nov. 7), Jocaine (Dec. 5) and Paradime (Dec. 19).
“Made In Detroit is our sponsor so we have tons of clothing/ticket giveaways and also a video DJ spins all night,” Mitchell says.
Thursday is College Night with a live DJ, doors at 9 p.m., $1 drinks from 9-11 p.m., then $2 Buds until midnight.
“It was the biggest club night on the eastside for years and I definitely plan on making it that way once again,” Mitchell says.