The industrial space was a lumberyard for over 70 years, before being converted into a catering facility, and now Spot Lite. It’s an extension of fine art print shop and gallery 1xRun, which relocated to Beaufait Street in 2017. When owners Roula David and Jesse Cory took over the four-in-one warehouse, it was in a sad state. The building had no water, no electricity, no walls, no HVAC, a caving ceiling and fire damage, but its raw potential was clear.
‘Initially, we wanted to turn the space into artist studios, since that’s the business we’re in,’ said David, who commissioned Iannuzzi Architecture Studio to lead Spot Lite’s adaptive reuse. ‘However, once we figured out the cost of that kind of project we realised that no artist would be able to afford it. Then we thought about a gallery, but even with that structure, it wouldn’t cover the cost. Thankfully, I come from hospitality, so we decided to open a gallery with a bar.’
The pair commissioned local artist Ryan Doyle, who crafted Spot Lite’s bar using lumber and other materials repurposed from the space. An old foreman’s desk is now the DJ booth, and trolleys have been cleaned, sealed and reused as coffee tables.
‘For the bar, I told Doyle I wanted something classic with a modern spin,’ said David. ‘I didn’t want it to feel too steampunk but more clean with his own artistic spin. It mimics the patterns of WWII war ships camouflage, known as dazzle. He found inspiration from these patterns and created the facade of the bar.’
A floral installation by Niche Hitch adds texture and warmth to the space, while rugs and artwork complete the Spot Lite atmosphere. The Detroit hub functions as a community coworking space and record shop during the day and becomes more of a cocktail and music venue as night falls.