Refuge: A Memorial Day Weekend Pop-Up Bar Event

By: Toni Cunningham | May 2, 2013

Bailout Productions is back for a third pop-up bar experience in almost as many months, and this time, the event will span an entire weekend instead of just one night.

Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, Memorial Day weekend and craft cocktails will all come together at the Rhino Bar, 1407 Randolph, Detroit, on Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26.

Whether you’ve been to one of Bailout’s previous pop-ups or not, Refuge promises to be completely different from duo Joe Robinson and Travis Fourmont’s earlier ventures.

For starters, they’ve teamed up with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) this time around in order to showcase Detroit’s forgotten neighborhoods and buildings. For the pop-up this weekend, Bailout Productions is showcasing the Rhino Bar in Detroit’s Harmonie Park, which has been vacant for several years.

“The event is much different from the last two (pop-ups) we’ve done at Green Dot Stables,” Robinson said. “It’s definitely more of a production. The bar is a shell… we basically have to transform the space in three days to become a functional high-volume bar.”

During the pop-up, they’ll showcase different art installations featuring local artists in order to make the building more aesthetically pleasing. In addition to Bailout’s famous drinks, they’ll have a full-service kitchen going each night, featuring food from Will Branch of Corridor Sausage and Jesse Knot of Café Urban Pheasant.

Robinson and Fourmont have been under the gun to get the event space finished in time, since they got the green light to go ahead with the event less than two weeks before it was set to take place.

“We have put something together that we would normally like to plan out months in advance. The main focus has been the contract work and licensing to get the building operational once again. We are fixing the bathrooms, replacing some walls and doing deep cleaning of the whole space,” Robinson said.

While much of their attention is on readying the event space, the drinks will in no way be lacking. That’s the easy part, according to Robinson. As with previous pop-ups, several specialty cocktails will be on tap, including The Swamp Water (rye whiskey with a ginger peppercorn syrup), The El Pepino (a play on the classic Collins with cucumber-infused blanco tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and soda), and Aperol Spritzer (a rhubarb liquor, Prosecco and soda).

If none of the above fit your fancy, then there must be something wrong with… I mean, there will be a fully stocked bar and savvy bartenders from the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild to fix you whatever your taste buds desire.

“These bartenders are the most knowledgeable and talented in the state,” Robinson said. “You give them an idea of a drink and they will create something delicious for you.”

In addition to drinks, grub and art, the event will feature performances by the best DJs and live bands Metro Detroit has to offer, including performances by Mexican Knives, The Siege and Coyote Clean Up.

On Friday, May 24, the pop-up will run from noon to 4 a.m.; on Saturday, May 25, from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.; and on Sunday, May 26, from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. The bar closes at 2 a.m. each night, but the kitchen will remain open until 4 a.m. or until supplies last.

Grab your tickets for Refuge via Bailout’s Facebook page before you go, or buy them at the door. Either way, expect to pay $10 before 10 p.m. and $15 after 10 p.m. You can also snag a three-day weekend pass for $25.

See ya there, readers!

Refuge