Despite the unassuming exterior of its squat building in Livonia, inside is the most out-of-control liquor party in the metro area. Under the bar's drop ceiling, you're likely to experience serious, eardrum-shaking bass, and a rowdy crowd whacking away at every surface in sight with drum sticks, chanting "Do It, Motherfucker!" along with the music while they stand up on their stools.
At first, we wonder why everybody's up there. Then, after sipping on a blue Bomb Pop for a while, we realize this is normal. Just another night at P.Y. Stix (11791 Farmington Rd., Livonia; 734-421-6070), where they bang, thump and scream standing as high as possible, with lots of wide Midwestern hips at eye level. They have dancing bartenders, sweet-ass drinks and a barber's chair so they can whirl you back and pour drinks down your throat, topping you with naughty whipped cream.
In short, it's exactly the kind of bar you'd want to take your friends to when they turn 21.
In this throbbing, tribal experience, alcohol is a sweet treat, a rite of passage, and the bar is a place to purge by screaming and cheering and banging on things. The way the bar is pummeled when the crowd reaches a fever pitch, it's a wonder the place doesn't just disintegrate. The DJ urges the crowd to "show how loud this bar can get!" Everybody erupts in an insane roar, and the sound system dives into "Crazy Bitch."
We order a Jamaican 10-Speed, a lime-green girlie drink with slivers of ice floating on it, sweet as a Jolly Rancher, but with hints of cocoa butter. Now, the DJ draws the crowd's attention to the bar. Late for a performance, one of the bartenders, wearing a bleached mohawk, runs up, jumping up on a stool to leap over the counter, managing the hurdle gracefully.
Soon, sirens are flashing in red and green, "Great Balls of Fire" is playing, and the bartenders, like cheerleaders for alcohol, are popping handstands, spraying the crowd with liquid, and dancing inside the bar. The crowd drums in unison and sings along with Jerry Lee Lewis, while four bartenders square off, dancing, flipping bottles up and out, finally juggling bottles back and forth between them. As the song reaches its climax, the lights dim and the bartenders somehow let loose a small fireball behind the bar. The crowd goes — again — wild.Michael Jackman is a writer and copy editor for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]