Monday, October 20, 2008

Mercury in Retrograde

This past weekend didn't seem busy while I was living it, but when I sat down to write this I realized that an awful lot went on. The most interesting (for you) would probably be the events that bookended my weekend, a preview of the Mercury Coffee Bar in Corktown.

Friday after work a friend and I headed over to check it out. They were having a preview thing, and since I'd passed on all the Book-Cadillac opening excitement, I decided I wanted in on this.

It seems like we've been waiting forever for the Mercury Coffee Bar to open, although in reality the group now doing it hasn't been at it all that long. What is great is that you've got hardcore foodie types, hardcore design-y types and hardcore urbanist types working together to create something special for Corktown/downtown/SeMI/America/the world. You can read the basics on the place

The interior is great and kind of shocking! It's defnitely a new paradigm in coffee bar design. The colors and geometry really evoke the graphic design of the 80s, which is absolutely perfect for the hipster vibe of Corktown. You know I just cannot get enough of the hipster appropriation of the 80s! I am sure this assessment is making the architect's head spin - the colors were supposed be be inspired by the colors of a printer test page, but all I saw was the cover of Bronski Beat's "Age of Consent" album. You be the judge; here are some photos I took over the weekend.

The upstairs service area and a cute owner.

Think pink!

If I'm wrong tell me whyyyyyy.

The food we tried that night was amazing - I had this peach chutney and goat cheese sandwich - and the espresso I had after dinner was one of the best I've had in Detroit, and I am not exaggerating! The downstairs dining area has a really different vibe than upstairs - more brick/wood/concrete with nice modern touches. The bar area downstairs will eventually have ten beers on tap and ten different wines. That will be an extra special touch, n'est-ce pas? And the bathroom down there is seriously fab! Designed by king of the hipsters Phil Cooley, the word on the street is that the architect had an aneurysm when he saw it. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but if you want a sneak preview, check it out here.

The almost-finished staircase to the lower level dining room.

After Mercury we went to the Book-Cadillac, so I finally got to check that out. There are some really nice things about it, it's very contemporary overall. There are some missed opportunities too, but what a great thing to have. And by great thing I mean finally a nice hotel lobby bar.

Saturday night was the Kathy Griffin show at the Fox Theater, and that was great fun. She is a freak, and even though I am not as up on popular culture and television viewing as I needed to be to get everything she was talking about, it was a fab show. More significantly, it was a theater packed with 5000 people and the vast majority of them were gay guys. It was the most gay people in one spot I've ever seen, at least in Michigan.

Sunday morning the Detroit Free Press Marathon occurred, and I ran the whole thing in record time! OK seriously, I drank mimosas and cheered on runners and walkers as they passed my friends' house in Corktown. It was the perfect fall morning, I saw many of my fellow Detroit gays out there running their little hearts out. We did some cheerleading cheers to keep their spirits up as they approached mile 12, and to distract them from the fact that the loudspeakers over on 14th Street were blaring "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins ... "gonna take you right into the danger zone." Suburbanites, really, it's not that bad.

"H-O-T-T-O-G-O! You are ... hot to go!"

After the marathon we walked up for a second visit to Mercury. They still weren't technically open yet, but it's all about who you know, you know? The place has a really different feel in daylight and it was crawling with sexy hipsters, boys and girls. But, like, really sexy boy hipsters. A lot of them.

Having a coffee at the little upstairs coffee standing bar is tres european, especially with the train station ruins right outside. I would like to point out that Mercury has that cone-drip coffee that is so good and is all the rage among serious coffee fans around the country. I went to one place in Hayes Valley in SF that had it and someone told me people wait like a half an hour to get that coffee. Crazy. And now we can have that here! Hopefully without the wait.

This is a fierce look that I was not expecting in Corktown. Those shoes!

I then left to go do some work and chill, being exhausted from all that cheering and an unusually early Sunday morning. Plus I had to see how this photo turned out.

I tried not to objectify this hipster worker boy but, once again, I failed.



Nora said...

Ah, just when I think I hate everything I remember about the '80s (those young hipsters romanticizing the Reagan Era make it worse), you remind me about Bronski Beat.

I love the pink floor, and MUST HAVE THOSE SHOES! Of course, I won't be able to walk in them; you'll have to be a doll and fetch me a drink. One of those yummy drip coffees will do. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

So, when does it officially open? Like, when can plebs go?

SupergayDetroit said...

They are open! Tuesday was opening day.

As a matter of fact I'm on my way there now.

Anonymous said...


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