For over a decade now, the Detroit native has co-owned British Sound Systems, a UK-based record label that deals primarily in house music. Masten became involved in the UK music scene while producing music here in Detroit, spending his nights making music after his day job as an executive for Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. He’d use his vacation time to fly to London, where he fell in love with the city’s underground nightclubs.
Masten would take early retirement from Catholic Charities, allowing him to spend even more time on music. And now it’s all coming together as he prepares the opening of HM Style Lounge & Chill Room, a bar, pop-up kitchen, and music venue in the city’s Grandmont Rosedale community.
Herschell Masten, owner of HM Style Loune & Chill Room, “What I’m trying to do is bring something that’s a little different to the city,” Masten says.
HM Style Lounge has been in the works for about a year-and-a-half, Masten says, its opening delayed for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the interior renovations have been completed and with the custom sound system installed, Masten now waits on the final inspections before he can open the doors. He expects a mid-May opening for the club.
“Originally, the lounge was going to exclusively be a club that plays house music. But after a lot of conversations with the community, they wanted to expand that a little bit. So we’re going to have house on the weekends and probably jazz and R&B during the week,” Masten says. “I wanted to meet the needs of the community.”
Pop-up kitchens will feature neighborhood chefsMeeting the need of the community is a big part of the HM Style Lounge & Chill Room mission. In addition to music, there will be weekly pop-up kitchens, including several chefs from the surrounding neighborhoods. There will be live poetry and art and fashion shows. There’s even a room for chess.
Dancing, of course, will play a big role one day, although COVID-19 has stymied that for now. A large outdoor patio should help with capacity restrictions.
Masten also plans on offering free DJ classes, where an instructor will teach people how to mix records and DJ events.
“This is going to combine a London underground club with Detroit industrial chic,” he says.
What makes it an underground London club, he says, is his insistence on “chill rooms,” separate rooms from the main dance area where people can enjoy a cocktail and have a conversation away from the loud sound system.
The bar at HM Style Lounge & Chill Room“When I came up with the name, some people said to leave out the chill rooms. But I didn’t because it’s an important part of this — because that’s what happens in London. There’s the dancing area but also a lounge for chilling with downtempo music,” Masten says.
“I have it so you can control the volume of the music within each distinct area, so people can talk to each other and have a good time.”
is located at 19566 Grand River Ave. in Detroit.
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