At one time, there were no less than nine gay nightclubs nestled between Six and Seven Mile Roads in the Palmer Park area. The older crowd can recall countless nights spent at the Glass House, Bookies, Backstage, Tiffany’s, Menjo’s, Heaven, the Gas Station, the Outlaw and the E-Ramp. But today, only one of those clubs remains, and it’s in the midst of a remodel.
Menjo’s, located at the corner of Six Mile Road and Hamilton, is receiving a $100,000 overhaul, just in time to celebrate the first anniversary of its collaboration with AW Entertainment, the outfit responsible for the sensational Saturday night parties at the bar, when its name changes to Club One X.
Anyone over 30 will tell you that One X was originally located downtown on Michigan Avenue. Huge crowds, a unique two-room, two-style musical format and stellar VIP service earned One X a national reputation. But a decade after the club burned down, the man responsible for its success, Anthony Winn, decided it was time to resurrect the name.
“It was something that I believed was a part of Detroit history, the club scene here,” said Winn, explaining his decision. “It played an instrumental role in the club history here. I didn’t believe that we could duplicate what took place back then, but I did want to create something now that, at the very least, brought back a sense of that same vibe.”
Menjo’s had just been purchased by the dynamic nightlife duo of Murray Hodgson and Peter Hendrickson, and a joint effort was soon launched. The two had planned to redo the club since purchasing it.
“It’s definitely needed,” said Hendrickson. “Menjo’s has been the same for so many years. I always say that Menjo’s needed an enema, a cosmetic enema. It needed more of a modern look. It was stale.”
Stale no more, the just unveiled phase one of its remodel made its debut on April 5.
“The first phase is really more cosmetic,” said Winn. “They, of course, redid the bathrooms, and the look of the club in terms of the bar itself. They made it more of an ultra-lounge. They opened up some walls to kind of give it more of an open feel. They changed the color and really upgraded it. You’ll see they kind of brought it into the 21st century and gave it an entirely new look and feel, from the countertops to the walls and everything.”
Phase two will be revealed next month, in time for One X’s official one-year anniversary party, which will include a special appearance by male exotic dancer Redickulous of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame.
“The second phase is going to be more technical, which will involve new lighting, a new sound system and a new dance floor area,” said Winn. “One of the major successes that made the original One X stand out was the two different music formats, which was unusual for the club scene in Detroit at the time. Ever since then, we’ve not had a venue where we could reintroduce that. Now we’re setting up so that we can have that.”
That’s right, one side of the club will feature hip-hop and the other house music. Times have a changed a bit, and now it’s hip-hop in the main room and house in the smaller adjunct, the reverse of the original One X.
“But even in the midst of the flipping there’s still a huge market in Detroit for house music,” Winn said. “I personally believe that is an element that is missing from the club scene. It’s something that a lot of people request. It’s for the adults, for lack of better words.”
The One X crowd won’t be the only ones to enjoy all these changes though. Menjo’s features College Night on Thursdays and has just started promoting a straight night on Fridays.
“A club this size, and with these demographics, has to cater to all types of people,” Hendrickson said.