Radar detects the scene


Detroit awaits the opening of Steven Sower’s latest gift to nightlife, Radar (formerly our beloved old Blue Moon), at long last joining with Majestic and Union Street to restore Woodward’s Bermuda Triangle of festivity. Select scenesters, however, were tossed the bone of a preview party Saturday night. The Majestic Café functioned effectively as Radar’s lobby, as the who’s who congregated for cocktails until the OK was given to slip across the street. Given the magnitude of this event, it was the only thing worth attending this week.

Looking forward to seeing what Sowers had in store for decor, I was disappointed that the building stands gutted, awaiting interior adornments (hell, walls, for that matter). Maybe they’re going for the industrial look. We’ll find out for sure when the place officially opens, probably before New Year’s.

Enough about schematics, though; let’s talk about the people of the night. Rubbing shoulders with Detroit’s hip elite was positively unavoidable Saturday. With too many in attendance to list, I’ve decided to walk you through my night introducing you only to those I genuinely like. Right up my alley.

Arriving at Majestic near midnight, the Radar buzz was humming and those without invites were working to secure ways to get in on the action. I mingled for a bit, stopping to chat with Fletcher Pratt’s George Dubber and friends Suzanne Batmanghelichi and Sarah Spratt, both of Detroit.

I commiserated with Dubber in his frustration dealing with apathetic Detroit building owners as he searches for new studio space; it seems many are content with the rundown condition of our beautiful architectural resources. Hang in there, George; visionaries such as you are turning this city around.

Across the bar I spotted a recent Town Pump acquaintance, Brad Scott of Detroit, and his buddy Mick Howey, a self-proclaimed lackey. Making my way over to say hello, I was struck by the thought that Scott’s ready smile brilliantly accessorizes any establishment lucky enough to find him on a barstool.

Weaving back through the masses toward my people, I bumped into Rockstar Steve of Control Freq, whose new single, "The Sweetest Day," is dominating the airwaves. (Incidentally, rumor has it that Steve’s former band, Charm Farm, will be getting together to play Orbit’s upcoming farewell party.)

Significant scenery also included divine designer Stacy Lauwers; my favorite tiny blonde model, Jonna Thomas; P.S. I Love You’s Dave Stroughter; Andy and Mike Nehra; and D.J. Top Kat.

The gracious Camilo (no last name necessary) and girlfriend Amy Rieberger, a refreshingly genuine duo, were there as well. I’m looking forward to Camilo’s Auto Show Designer Night, January 11 at the Bankle Building, a mixer for designers from around the globe. Sponsored by Ford, this year’s soiree will boast live jazz, several bars and, as always, an impressive guest speaker (last year’s speaker was Sid Mead).

My horror-sight of the night was a tie. Sharing the honors were an obnoxious couple straight from Cheese City, bumping and grinding up against the wall all night (and under a spotlight, no less!), and a 50-ish chubster in a beret and too little else. Small surprise that they ended up knowing each other.

Around 1:30, the Majestic crowd began thinning noticeably as migration to Radar began. I barely noticed, so engrossed was I with Bootsey X of Bootsey X and the Love Masters, fresh from performing upstairs at the Magic Stick. His flashing eyes rivaling his silver biker jacket, Bootsey was ready to play, having stowed his blow-up Joe C. doll safely in the car.

MT marketing vamps Debbie Sipes (newly nose-ringed) and Kim Leitz were among our group assembling to head out, as well as the infamous Verge and Euthanasia’s Reed Sassin. Of Sassin, let me say he taught me a lesson in how wrong first impressions can be. At first, I wrongly chalked him up as a man of little substance. As the night progressed, however, he quickly ascended to the top of my favorite-people list, wowing me with the way he obviously puts his family first. I can only hope I made half the impression on him.

Rocker attorney David Lee joined our ranks, along with my favorite Capricorn, Howling DiablosTino (who promised to show me the finer aspects of Beefeater dining), and then our prodigious posse proceeded to Radar. By the way, the Howling D’s are once again creating their cult magic Sundays at Berkley’s Bear’s Den. Ah, where it all began for many of us. ...

The wee hours brought out even more familiar faces, such as my writing mentor, Matthew Campari, ominously lurking in the shadows, and Killer Kanareck, who impressed onlookers by hoisting Trash Brat lovely Tony Romeo to shoulder level.

Legendary Alvin’s drinkslingers Jamie Johnson and Steven Ellis rounded out the happy faces surrounding me all night.

Sowers threw a hell of a party, which was packed and pulsating until the boys in blue showed up to spoil the fun. We didn’t stick around to find out whether they were just there for a drink.

And true to my word, I have not mentioned a certain socialite wannabe’s graceless tumble down an entire flight of stairs; if anyone finds out about it, it certainly won’t be from me!