The Works
Detroit, Michigan



Late nights in the Motor City.

Though Detroit’s got its share of proud electro fans, it seems they prefer to keep after-hours music spot The Works under the radar. With little by way of advertising and a single-page virtually impossible to read website, our Stalkers found out about the long-standing place the old way: word of mouth. Although the spot was granted its exception to the rule after-hours status through legal loophole, grandfathered in as a gay club on Saturday nights, Friday night after-hours have their own secrets. This month’s NightStalkers check out the elusive spot, and divulge everything worth exposing in written word!

Stalker #1
I’m a big party freak. I like going to different places. So when I first moved down to Detroit it was a big let down. Clubs closed at two a.m. And the music in most clubs, being top 40, wasn’t something I could get into either. I was dying to go someplace interesting. Hence my ready-to-rendezvous reaction when somebody told me about The Works, and the fact that it stayed open until five a.m.

When I got there fortunately the music was exactly the type I was looking for – the kind that just hits you as soon as you enter. It was refreshingly different from the rest of Detroit music.

But the actual fun was happening in a room connected to the front room through a passage. Fondly called the “Back Room” by regulars, it was basically a big industrial room devoted to dancefloor, with another DJ booth. The music in the front was more soft/progressive house, which allowed people to talk and take a break from the hardcore house/techno/trance being played in the back room.

And come two a.m. the place went from boom to kaboom! There wasn’t even any standing space available, packed with all the insomniacs from the clubs closing at two a.m. And yeah, the cover charge also goes up by five bucks after two, though that didn’t detract the clubbers pouring in.

Stalker #2
“The smarter alternative,” yes, that’s what the place calls itself. And in a way it’s true. The first thing I learned about Works is: leave all your inhibitions and preconceived images on how a bubbling night place should be behind. My girlfriend and I hit the spot around 11:30 to find something quite different from a run-of-the-mill night spot, surprisingly too, since it’s minutes from all the downtown hip and happening places.

Finding it was, well, hard. You can pass right in front of the place several times and still not know it. The dark streets and the construction nearby don’t help either. Inside we discovered there was an event called “Oh Snap” being held there by an outfit called “,” so projectors were setup showing pictures of clubbers at various events.

With no dress code enforced, fashion was all over the place ranging from college polo and slacks to high-end, edgy clubbing clothes. Same with the people, from techno ravers to club hoppers, but everyone seemed to know the place through someone else, as opposed to mainstream advertising.

When I get myself a drink I’m surprised at the wide variety of beers available. I order a Newcastle, which costs five bucks – most of the well drinks were four to six bucks and were generous in size. Another pleasant surprise was that the place stayed open ‘til 5 am. The $10 cover was definitely worth it for the all-nighter, beats driving around at three in the morning looking for any open places!

Stalker #3
When first told about the Works, I was reluctant to go. It got even worse when I found that there was no valet parking available, I didn’t like parking my expensive car on the grass patch adjacent to the place.

Entering through a front room, Works looked the part of dive bar, minus its DJ booth and VIP seating. Drinks were a big plus and were reasonably priced. The bartender made some really nice Long Islands. But honestly, the music is the first thing you notice, ranging from just loud in the front room to positively eardrum bursting variety in the back room. What do I say about the back room? It’s an industrial-sized room with graffiti painted on the walls including huge gear and psychedelic electronic lighting.

The whole place was grooving to the music being spun by the DJs, especially the back room. I myself, though not normally a big fan of electronic music, got sucked into it. As they say, you can’t help but give into good music.

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Copyright 2005 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2005 TESTA Communications