Electronic Reminiscence: Mack and Bellevue

Alex Calhoun —  November 6, 2013 — 7 Comments

2r2ynbbGoing to raves and afterhours events in Detroit can take you to some pretty out of the way locations and venues. These places can vary from odd and upscale to dirty and abandoned. Mack and Bellevue, a warehouse nicknamed after its cross streets that formerly stood on Detroit’s east side, was probably one of the dirtiest of the dirty.

Mack and Bellevue was a faded, long-abandoned brick warehouse in a really rough neighborhood of Detroit. The building itself was decaying and one of the dirtiest places I ever remember going to raves at. It was one of those places where you come out into the sunlight in the morning and are astounded at how your shoes and the lower half of your pant legs are covered in black filth. The only bathrooms I ever remember seeing there were porta-potties that were set up in a truck bay.

Despite the general underground grittiness that comes to mind when I think about Mack and Bellevue, it was home to some amazing events and truly memorable times. I remember seeing all of the Sonic Groove DJs (Frankie Bones, Adam X, Heather Heart) there at one time or another, and this was the first place I ever heard anybody spin jungle. The warehouse would always be packed to the gills, and its low lighting and cavernous size always made for a very special vibe.

I was told some years ago that the warehouse had burned and then was torn down. I took a drive down Mack once day and confirmed this; an overgrown empty lot now occupies the southwest corner of Mack and Bellevue. Another venue that only exists in the collective memory of some Detroit electronic music fans, and maybe a few surviving pictures or party flyers.

Alex Calhoun

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Alex Calhoun is a writer, vinyl collector, and lover of all things odd and electronic. He currently lives in the Detroit Metro area.
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7 responses to Electronic Reminiscence: Mack and Bellevue

  1. i have been to many raves at the mack and bell… dirty as all get up…i faintly remember dancing in there on a tile mat someone put in the dance circle.. i had no shoes on… wonder why… whole bother story..but i do think packard plant was worse

  2. DerekDaBearBurgess November 10, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Wasent there a limo that had been cut in half in one of the rooms?

  3. That was The Chop Shop. Check out the previous post on this venue.

  4. Oh the fun back in the day…

  5. Oh, how I still remember the stench of the ‘pit’ behind that garage door, and the itchy kids climbing off of the industrial rolls of insulation…

  6. Some great parties there. Deff my all time fav venue. Ironically I live on Bellevue 5 or 6 blocks from Mack now )well for the past 4 years) and drive by that empty corner often.

  7. The good old days, 3 and a half years of my favorite faded memories (of which I have very few that I can completely recall). Oh, Crack and Bellevue. Simultaneously the best and worst parties I’ve ever been to. I can remember my old woody station wagon being the only car in a line of 7 that didn’t either get broken into or stolen. Unfortunately, my luck ran out a couple of months later at 8 Mile and Kelly. Then, a couple months after that was the last good Detroit party I went to in late 2000. I can remember coming back one last time in 2001 because there was supposed to be an off the wall party with all of the best DJs, only to get crammed into some building, a person throwing up on my friend and leaving right before the police showed up because they were trying to raise money to bail their friend out of jail. It will never be like that again, but I don’t think my brain or body would forgive me now if I tried.

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