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Northern Lights Lounge adds a patio and brunch, continues to transform its street




As Northern Lights Lounge nears closer to its tenth anniversary this October, the New Center bar, restaurant, and venue has recently debuted a large patio. Detroit-based Steven C. Flum is the architect of record on the project.

Matching a facade grant from co-grantors Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, co-owners Michael Solaka, William Steele, and Greg "Kegger" Visee have opened a patio that they have been working on conceptually for about as long as the lounge has been open. Construction began in October 2013 and the patio is now open to the public.

The patio area, once an old asphalt parking lot, now features brick pavers, outdoor furniture, and three young trees -- an oak, a maple, and a poplar. At night, soft lighting and an outdoor speaker system complement the vibe found inside the lounge itself.

More outdoor furniture is coming, says Solaka, and he hopes to get a fire pit going sometime soon. An outdoor bar is a possibility, too. A few years on and a bordering wall will be covered in the young Boston ivy recently planted at its base.

"We haven't really designed the final product yet," says Solaka. "But we figured we'd get it done, live with it, and kind of see how people used it. And I've already learned a lot working out here while people are using it."

The lounge is debuting a Sunday brunch menu Sunday, August 3 -- another patio-related feature. Solaka reveals, too, that he is planning on constructing ten studio-loft apartments on the floor above the lounge, complete with balconies overhanging the new patio. He's also looking to fill the storefront adjacent to Northern Lights. Another ten years from now and 660 W. Baltimore and its block could look as different as it did ten years ago.

Source: Michael Solaka and Greg Visee, co-owners of Northern Lights Lounge
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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