MGM Grand Detroit opens AXIS Lounge with classy cocktails, Motown flavor, and a really, really cool ceiling

When you think of MGM Grand Detroit, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely gaming. And yes, this place has a top-notch gaming floor, the place is pristine, and without a doubt it stands out from its competitors. But MGM Grand Detroit is a lot more than gambling. Their signature nightclub, V, is a regular hotspot on the weekends. TAP at MGM Grand Detroit is the best place to grab a beer and a burger and watch the game. And Immerse spa is world class. It certainly seems there is something for everyone.

Recently, the team at MGM Grand Detroit felt they needed to step up their game in the entertainment department. Thus was born the idea for AXIS Lounge, an open concept music venue that would allow guests to enjoy their favorite local bands in the middle of all the action.

"MGM Grand Detroit and MGM Resorts International are known for providing world-class experiences" says Steve Zanella, MGM Grand Detroit's president and chief operating officer. "We created AXIS Lounge to be an exciting new destination where locals could find an escape with live music every night of the week."

But first, the team at MGM had to do some recon work. They surveyed both guests and employees to find out what was missing in their offerings.

"Live entertainment definitely came up quite often," Zanella says of their survey. "So, we took a progressive step to do something that our guests wanted and needed — something that would stand out and, at the same time, pay tribute to the musical heritage of Detroit."

The team worked to establish the overall vision and where AXIS would compete in the market. MGM Grand Detroit invested over $3.5 million for the renovation that would see a once dark and uninviting space turn into a brightly colored, contemporary venue with a wavy color-changing ceiling that enraptures its patrons. "The previous lounge, U Me Drink, was closed off and secluded. You didn't feel the energy of the gaming floor," says Zanella.

"The entire team worked tirelessly to create the environment we have today. We really wanted to do something that was unique to the property. It truly feels like it's got the Motown vibe, which shows off the heart and soul of Detroit."

As for live entertainment, Zanella says there's something for everyone. "We want to make sure the acts are as energetic as the venue, and we look for the best bands around," he says. "We're getting the best of the best as far as entertainment goes throughout the Midwest. We're going after the best local talent. We're going after the best regional talent."

"The cocktail menu also offers a wide selection of our favorites along with new signature drinks. We have everything that a guest could want in an entertainment experience — plush seating, great live music, state-of-the-art sound system, LED screens — we just want to make sure there is an experience that brings an amazing energy to the entire property."

AXIS will have live entertainment seven days a week. There will be acts from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays, and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Guests will experience great diversity in the venue's acts. You can hear cover band Square Pegz and listen to local crooner Pato perform regularly.Professional flutist Alexander Zonjic plays light jazz and classical compositions and plenty of other performers from Ben Sharkey to Boogie Dynamite will perform at least once a month.

A beautiful new venue with tons to offer, there's no doubt AXIS Lounge will soon be at the top of all metro Detroiters' favorite lists.

MGM Grand Detroit is located at 1777 Third St., Detroit; Visit to view AXIS entertainment calendar; 877-888-2121/21 plus.

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