It's no secret that Small's is one of our favorite bars around, and we don't think that we're alone on this one. The drinks are cheap and strong, they have some of the best shows, the space itself is awesome, and the staff is made up of some of the best people in Detroit. What's not to love? Whether it was for a show or just to grab a drink or two in the middle of the week, we can't say that we have ever had a bad time there.
Small's has a big anniversary coming up this weekend. It has been 15 years since this great bar and venue opened its doors and they are celebrating in a big way. The official anniversary party is this Saturday, but they have a couple of other nights of partying planned to lead up to the big bash. First up, on Thursday night Frantic Flinstones will be hitting the stage all the way from Germany with Elvis Hitler and B7 Bombers. Then, Friday night you can dance the night away at a Depeche Mode Tribute edition of Thirst Wave. Then the real party happens Saturday night with Speedball, Against the Grain, and Her Dark Host.
In honor of this big anniversary and to get ready for a weekend of partying we caught up with the man behind the bar, Mike Mouyianis. Mike is the owner of Small's, has been a huge part of the Detroit music scene for years, and is one of the best guys we know. Check out what he had to say about the bar, the business, and this weekend's festivities.
|Photo Credit: Camera Jesus aka Joe Gall|
Left to Right- Melody Malosh, Sadie Q, Mike Mouyianis
HID- It has been 15 years since Small's opened. What made you want to open a bar & venue? And why did you pick Hamtramck?Mike- "Well it was open and for sale, my friends Jeff King and Parry Lavoisne owned it along with Amir Daiza. We had been in the process of running and buying Alvins for years. I always liked Small's so when it came up for sale we grabbed it. It was a lot easier deal than the crap we were going through at Alvins."
HID- Did you think Small's would be around this long?
Mike- "I never really thought of how long we would do this, it just keeps going."
HID- You guys have hosted a lot of shows over the years. What was your favorite show so far?
Mike- "Alkaline Trio was awesome and the first surprise Eagles of Death Metal was great. It's hard to pick, but probably Turbonegro."
HID- What was the worst show?
Mike- "Worst show, the ones that don't draw and even though there's not many people somebody decides to be an a-hole. Insert various shows here."
HID- What is the best part about owning your own bar?
Mike- "Being your own boss is the best about owning. For years I made other people money doing shows and events."
HID- What's the worst part? (Is it cleaning the bathrooms? Because I feel like that would be pretty high on the list.)
Mike- "Yea cleaning and repairing other people's messes sucks."
HID- Tell us about the craziest night ever at Small's.
Mike- "Any of those previous shows mentioned, throw in Melvins shows and the first time we did a Bang Bang Reunion, that show was fucking nuts."
HID- You guys have been putting on some awesome monthly events lately, Thirst Wave and Industrial's Not Dead. What made you guys want to start hosting these parties? Do you plan to continue doing them?
Mike- "Thirst Wave came about from Kat Paled and myself sitting around thinking of events. She had just left City Club. I asked if she thought we could make a night like that work here, we are doing at least one of the 2 nights weekly now and on weekend nights. A lot of people got tired of partying in a dumpster was the quote I heard. So yea, we will def continue doing these nights. We were jam packed last NYE. We're doing Halloween, night before and after Thanksgiving, and NYE again, along with our weekly thing. This weekend were doing Thirst Wave on Friday and it's a Depeche Mode tribute night, gonna be some giveaways all night. Expect a lot of dancing, drinking, and great DJs, Pleasure Kitten, Aaron Hingst and Scary Guy doing video sets."
HID- Coming up this weekend you have a pretty awesome bash planned for your anniversary. Why did you pick the bands you did? What can people coming to the show expect?
Mike- "Saturday is gonna be loud! Speedball plays once or maybe twice a year and never disappoints. Usually a lot of old friends come back around and it's a great event. ATG is one of the hardest working bands I've seen in a long time. If they could, they would tour non-stop and smile while doing it. Great band and I'm stoked they are in town for this. Her Dark Host is Bubba from Bump-N-Uglies new band. It's dark and pretty heavy. It's along the lines of Danzig, but more weed influenced and more evil."
HID- In one sentence tell us why people should come to Small's instead of any other bar in Metro Detroit.
Mike- "Coldest beer, strongest drinks, best sound!"
HID- Do you think Small's will be around for another 15 years?
Mike- "God I hope not."
Cover for Saturday's show is only $10 at the door or you can save yourself a buck and pick tickets up ahead of time here for $9. Doors are set to open at 8 p.m. Make sure you get there early! We mean it when we say that you won't want to miss anyone on this bill! For more info on all of the events going on this weekend and to pick up tickets, head over to SmallsBarDetroit.com.
We'd like to thank Mike, Natalie, and everyone at Small's for running such an awesome venue. Congratulations on 15 years and (even though Mike might not want to see it happen) here's to 15 more! Cheers!