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December 01, 1995 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

siness

JULIE EDGAR
STAFF WRITER

BpI ~ pI ~ G

Anew club offers teen-agers a place
to cut loose in an alcohol-free,
high-security environment.

Adam Gottlieb and
Jim Maceroni of the
Modern Rock Cafe.

mergency medical technician
Adam Gottlieb is in the business
of saving people.
In his secondary role as club
impresario, he'll be coming to the
rescue of bored-stiff teen-agers.
Mr. Gottlieb, 33, has joined
forces with veteran club owner
Jim Maceroni to open what he
believes is one of the few teens-
only dance clubs in the area.
The Modern Rock Cafe is
scheduled to open its doors at 7
p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Walled
Lake, offering teen-agers non-
stop stimulation in the form of
video games, junk food, caffeine
and a huge dance floor within its
vast reaches. Painted a deep
lavender and ornamented with
Day-Glo shapes, the 12,000-
square-foot club on Pontiac Trail
might be visible from the moon.
The interior is still coming to-
gether. On one wall is a 34-foot-
high mural, also in fluorescent
paint, of a generic rock 'n' roller
affectionately called Jimmy Jam.
A bar that will sell Pepsi prod-
ucts and non-alcoholic frozen
drinks is set up opposite. Dance
platforms are placed here and
there. Technicians working in the
building gladly flip on the strobe
lights that strafe the wood par-
quet dance floor.

As a 14-year-old, Mr. Gottlieb
was spinning records at bar mitz-
vahs and weddings. In late ado-
lescence, the Southfield resident
got a job at the defunct Roma's of
Bloomfield doing the same thing.
That was during the short-lived
era of disco, when John Travolta
was dismissed as a one-note
Charlie in a white leisure suit.
But, Mr. Gottlieb laughed, "It
gave everybody something to do."
Mr. Gottlieb went on to found
Hart Medical in 1983, a private
company that provides contrac-
tual medical services at festivals,
concerts and other special events.
On the job, he has tended to plen-
ty of teen-agers who've had too
much to drink and called many
parents to pick them up.
The Modern Rock Cafe won't
tolerate toxins. And anybody who
has caused a problem won't be al-
lowed back. A bar-coded identi-
fication card required for entry
will ensure that unruly patrons
won't be dancing again at the
club. Only those between 13 and
18 will be admitted.
Three months ago, Mr. Got-
tlieb and Mr. Maceroni took out
a lease on the building, a former
roller-skating rink and ban-
quet/bingo hall. But before they
sank $250,000 to gut the build-

ing and start over again, they sat
down with the Commerce Town-
ship police and Walled Lake
board of education to discuss se-
curity at the club, their para-
mount concern in an age of
parking-lot gunfights.
Actually, said both men, safe-
ty seems to be the foremost con-
cern of teen-agers, too.
The police, Mr. Gottlieb said,
are "100 percent behind us.
That's really going to make us.
We have a security system that
can't be beat." That includes cam-
eras inside and outside the build-
ing, a fenced and lighted parking
lot, and a team of private securi-
ty guards, though they won't be
hiring thick-necked thugs to man
the doors and toss out unwelcome
guests.
"It gives us control," said Mr.
Maceroni, a 39-year-old
Northville resident who runs
Graffiti, a nightclub in Westland.
"If the club is going to make it,
it's because we properly secure
it."
They estimate the security
team will cost them about
$150,000 annually.
The coffeehouse on one end of
the club is set up for live folk acts,
poetry readings and karaoke, and
they're thinking about theme
nights when patrons get togeth-
er and watch TV shows like
"Friends" and "Melrose Place."
The arcade will include pool
tables, air hockey and foosball,
and "redemption" games that
generate tickets which can be ex-
changed for prizes. The two part-
ners are considering bringing in
"laser tag," a game involving

laser guns inside a moonwalk-
like dome.
Deejays will take requests
from the floor, but the music will
tend toward "alternative" and
dance. Local radio personalities
will be invited to broadcast from
the club, and recording artists
will be on hand occasionally to
sign autographs.
Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Maceroni
envision the Modern Rock Cafe
as a refuge for teen-agers after
school and after dinner, every
day. Dancing will be featured
only on weekends and holidays,
and they plan to rent the club to
youth organizations that might
want to use the floor.
If the place becomes a haven
for safe fun, the two men will
have achieved their goal, they
said.
"It was frustrating to see these
kids doing all these nasty things
to themselves and hearing their
excuses about having nothing to
do," Mr. Gottlieb said of his work
at Hart Medical. "I thought of
Shadowfax (a defunct nightclub
that was located in Walled Lake)
and Roma's and realized I need-
ed to do something."
And the teen-agers they've
talked to tell them, "Finally,
somebody is doing something for
us," he added.
The two partners are consid-
ering an alcohol-free dance night
for adults. ❑

cc

co
2

Modern Rock Cafe is located c_)
at 1172 Pontiac Trail, one mile t
north of Maple Road, in Walled
Lake. The phone number is (810)
926-1000.

39

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