New in Town

It’s all coming together at The Junction


The building that houses The Junction, a recently opened music and event venue, formerly housed, to the best of my knowledge, The Brass Monkey, Wayside bar, Sparty’s Night Club, the Whiskey Barrel Saloon and Green Dot Stables. General manager Kyle Hickman became part of this history during the Whiskey Barrel years, putting together electronic music shows for the venue, and he’s hoping to recreate the community space for disparate tribes he remembers so fondly. 

“The night would start out with line dancing — total country crowd — then they’d add a little more hip-hop, pop music as a different crowd started to filter in, Lansing kids and college kids. By the end of the night, it’d be packed with all these people having a great time together,” he said. 

Looking at the venue’s schedule of recent and upcoming shows, it seems he and his team are on the right track. Every Wednesday is Country Night, featuring the aforementioned line dancing taught by instructors from the Whiskey Barrel era; Thursdays are College Night, with a live DJ and dance floor; PRISM, an LGBTQ+ organization at Michigan State University, hosts events on Saturday evenings with live performers, typically drag artists; and Sundays are Industry Night, with free pool, video games, darts and water pong.

This Saturday (Feb. 18) is a birthday celebration and toga party for bartender and former Spiral Dance Bar drag performer Donovin Frayer/Nevaeh Rachét. In March, R&B performer Jacquees will grace the stage, and when I walked in on Saturday (Feb. 11), the staff was setting up for the Tease A Gogo Valentine’s burlesque show. 

“We aim to be an eclectic live-performance venue with high-quality food,” Hickman said. 

The food will be familiar to some, as Green Dot Stables’ sliders survived the business’ transition from restaurant to bar and venue. Tacos and mac and cheese were added to the lineup, with more to come. The Junction is open for regular dinner service from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with free pool and arcade games. 

“We keep it family-friendly until around 8. We want people to still feel comfortable coming in for food,” Hickman said. 

Even after 8 p.m., though, most shows are 18 and up, furthering the diversity of the crowd you might find at any given event. With younger people in attendance and regularly scheduled events that aim to pick up where Spiral left off, Hickman’s background in security makes his main focus clear. 

“I want it to be a safe place to put on LGBTQ shows as well as national touring acts,” he said. 


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