Backstage/Footlights (Now closed, burned down) was located on Woodward Ave just north of McNichols (Six Mile Rd) at 17630 Woodward Ave. The restaurant was called Backstage and the bar was called Footlights. It was opened by Peter Mel in 1978 (Backstage) and Footlights opened in 1981. Peter Mel has a new restaurant in Ferndale called Pete's Place. Backstage had allot of Broadwayy posters, that was the theme. Footlights was all black and white art deco style with a piano. They always had flowers on the tables with spotlights shining on the flowers. I first went here back in the 80's and have many fond memories of both. Everyone would go to get breakfast at Backstage after the bars closed. I can remember that they had a juke box in Backstage that had a 21 minute version of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer's song "Enough is enough" which we would always play sometimes twice in the same visit! (This song is 21 minutes long!) and drive the waiters crazy. I can remember they had this blind lady name Jan who played piano and sang in Footlights. The more drunk she got, the funnier she was. We would always ask her to sing "Mister Sandman" which she did in such a funny way. Then one night I was at Backstage having dinner with some friends and I noticed this "yellow glow" on a house across the street. I asked our waiter "Is this place on fire?" He said no, it was just the security van which used to drive around with a yellow flashing light on the roof. 10 minutes later he came and said "Everyone out! this place is on fire!" We ran outside and the place promptly burned to the ground in like 20 minutes! I miss that place, everyone does. Tell us your stories of the place. I need photos of this place!! email them to me!
This blog is a hobby of mine. I am researching the history of gay bars and places in the city of Detroit. It is a work in progress; some of the bars that I list, I have no real information about what they were like or what kind of clientele they had or pictures. If you know something about an old bar, email me please. I want to post every gay bar in Detroit that ever was so people can respond with their own stories or what they know about them. I need pictures also of old bars that have since closed. This blog is also semi-autobiographical, I am going to share my own life stories of bars and places in Detroit. Check out my other blog http: motorgay.net/ More..