Saturday, January 27, 2007

All Mixxed Up

Tonight we tried to make the rounds in Novi. We haven't gone out in the area for a long while, and thought it was time for a check up. To our dismay, it was quite the disappointment. Our stops included Luckys, Mixx Lounge, and O'Tooles. Enjoyment was only found a few hours earlier in the evening while snowboarding at Mt. Brighton. The rundown follows. We strongly suggest you take a quick moment to read.

Lucky's hasn't really changed since it opened. The food is still good, the drinks are a little over-priced, the men's bathroom now has a restroom attendant, and they've swapped the placement of the Skee Ball and Basketball games. But what does that really matter? If you can manage to find a booth or a spot at the bar, you'll most definitely get decent service. We've never really had anything bad from the menu either, so we're fairly confident Lucky's is more than capable of satisfying whatever cravings you may be experiencing. If you're into premium vodka, be prepared for $8 drinks and $7 shots. Had I realized I was paying such a high premium at a video game bar, I think I could have settled for a "normal" vodka+tonic or classic coke with rum. Then again, had I known about Lucky's new policy for designated drivers that gives them free coke and/or coffee all night, maybe that's the route I'd have taken.

Those who go to Lucky's pretty much fall into one of two categories; typical, attractive female and typical, attractive male. For the most part, women visiting Lucky's seem to look a little too good. And for the most part, men visiting Lucky's are the typical Bugle Boy model from the late 80s/early 90s. Everyone wears jeans; women front form fighting styles, while guys prefer the look of Lee or Dungaree. Men seem to like wearing button up shirts and polos. Women enjoy the standard short sleeve top that extends down to their hips. We've thought long and hard about why so many good looking women come to Lucky's, but we're stumped. Not only do you have to park far away and walk through what appears to be an abandoned amusement park, but you're going to the same place a 9yr old just had their birthday party. But, to each their own.

In the past we've always given Mixx Lounge a fairly positive review. Consider their streak broken. Driving up, we noticed a valet company has once again taken over the public parking. This should have been our clue that something changed. The new standing rule is a $5 cover for guys after 10p. Over the past few weeks, lines have been starting to form on Fri+Sat nights and this is their attempt to help curb that behavior. It's a dumb rule.

There aren't many options in the Main Street area in Novi on the weekends. The Post Bar charges $3. Gus O'Connors is free (or at least used to be). Dirty Martini wants you to think it's a high class place and takes $10. Fifth Avenue is usually $5 to get upstairs. If Mixx thinks a $5 cover is going to deter people, it won't. It's not high enough to *really* force someone to go somewhere else.

If Mixx wanted to stop lines from forming, they would have looked at why they're forming and addressed the root of the problem. In the bathroom, a guy was complaining he had to pay $5 for a remodeled version of the Post Bar. And in the middle of a crowd, two women who don't often come to Novi, didn't understand why a girl in a Piston's jersey was let inside. In a sense, these fall in line with our previous criticisms of the bar. The guy in the bathroom was right, as were the only two women in the bar who knew how to dress. Why come to Mixx Lounge if it's exactly like the Post Bar, but with a nicer decor? It was good to see that Mixx turned off the big screen televisions behind the bar, and we thought it was cool to have Fuel TV on around the pool table. But come on- if you let in anyone and everyone, turn the back corner into a dance floor, and pump out Top 40, without a doubt you're inviting the largest demographic of the bar scene. It's only a matter of time before there is a line.

Instead, why not change the music selection, hide the DJ, put the couches back where they used to be, and either charge a $7 cover or slightly raise the price of drinks? As an added bonus, this will also prevent things like guys in candy cane striped shirts dancing by themselves, pairs of women getting swamped by guys who work at Quicken Loans, and I'll finally be able to walk around without having a crowd of people spill half of my martini.

By the end of our first drink, we took off for O'Tooles. This was also a mistake. O'Tooles used to be a dingy place to go with cheap drinks, good service, an attractive wait staff, and a lot of people. We walked in, saw an empty bar, and turned right around.

Sweet Dreams.