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Old Village Plymouth lounge will recreate ’70s basement party atmosphere

 Old Village Plymouth lounge will recreate ’70s basement party atmosphere

The Red Ryder lounge is expected to open in late-May or early-June in Old Village Plymouth.

Every neighborhood throughout the 1970s had at least one or two families whose stylishly-paneled basements were magnets for good-vibe parties — memorable for the tunes generated by the vinyl records spinning on the turntable, classic drinks and comforting camaraderie.

The Plymouth husband-and-wife team of Jeff and Alexis O’Brien, along with Alexis’s mom Sandy Mily, are just a few months away from opening a lounge in Plymouth’s Old Village District — the Red Ryder — that will recreate the nostalgic feel and warm memories of those 1970s gathering places.

Set to open around late-May or early-June, the Red Ryder is located at 584 Starkweather — the site of the former Honey Hole.

“People can expect a neighborhood spot where they can hang out with old friends and meet new ones,” said Jeff O’Brien, the former general manager of Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center. Alexis O’Brien was Fox Hills’ director of marketing and social media, and Mily was a longtime co-owner of the sprawling complex.

“There will be no televisions, no distractions. This place will be all about music, food and drink.”

‘Warm and cozy finishes’

O’Brien said the Red Ryder’s atmosphere “will remind you of your dad’s basement, with warm and cozy finishes … like something out of the ’70s. There will be a lot of wood (he smiled), great music playing, what I’ll call elevated, affordable bar food with a few twists and turns, and a very extensive selection of bourbons, scotches, whiskeys and tequilas.

“We’ll also offer old-school cocktails, probably a lot like your dad and his friends used to mix up in their basements.”

Fueled by O’Brien’s vinyl record collection that exceeds 4,000, a turntable and a state-of-the-art sound system, music will play a significant role in the Red Ryder’s vibe.

“We’ll be spinning music from all eras, all genres,” O’Brien promised. “Some nights, it might be all Motown tunes, other nights ’80s hair band music.

“We will be offering Saturday and Sunday brunches, too, so we may have a hip hop Saturday brunch followed by a jazzy Sunday brunch — more chill music — featuring (John) Coltrane, Ella (Fitzgerald) and Miles Davis. There will be something for everybody.”

The lounge’s name pays homage to Plymouth’s renowned Daisy Air Rifle factory that cranked out thousands of BB guns every year just a few blocks away from the Red Ryder location.

Affordable, memorable experiences

The trio of owners’ goal is to provide a stylish neighborhood gathering place that will provide amazing new memories with every visit — without costing an arm and a leg.

“It seems like a lot of the new restaurants opening in metro Detroit are high-end places, where it’s hard to take your spouse or significant other — or even hang out with a few friends — without spending a couple hundred dollars, minimum,” O’Brien said.

“We want the Red Ryder to be a destination people can visit multiple times a week and spend maybe $30 for an unforgettable experience with friends.”

The O’Briens and Mily are overjoyed they were able to secure a location as ideal as Old Village Plymouth.

“Phenomenal things are happening in Old Village these days,” Jeff O’Brien said. “There’s a renaissance happening here, with new businesses and restaurants coming in. The City of Plymouth is repairing the roads and doing storm-sewer work. It’s an exciting time to live and/or own a business in Old Village.”

Intimate setting

The Red Ryder will feature an intimate setting, O’Brien revealed, with seating for 68.

“We didn’t want it to be overbearing or chaotic,” he said.

It will be a lot like those hard-to-forget 1970s neighborhood parties held in paneled basements where sweet music and stimulating conversation filled the air. will provide updates on the Red Ryder’s grand opening timeline.

You can learn more about Red Ryder on its Instagram: @redryderlounge.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

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Ed Wright

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