May 20, 2019 | Story by: Jennifer Timar
This article originally appeared here.
Brighton’s nightlife needs beefing up, according to a young, local property investor.
A planned new southwest-inspired restaurant, dance hall and high-end lounge bar could be the ticket.
Christopher Klebba, a 26-year-old Brighton resident, expects to spend more than $3 million to transform the former Border Cantina restaurant property at 8724 W. Grand River Ave. into a new “luxury lounge” hangout that would be called “Single Barrel Social,” he said.
The city’s planning commission Monday night approved site plans for additions to the building totaling about 1,000 square feet and changes to the facade.
After it opens, Single Barrel Social will be one of only a few establishments in Brighton that will stay open until 2 a.m., and it will add “something lacking in the city,” a dance venue, Klebba said.
“The initial positive response has been people saying how there isn’t a place here (in Brighton) to dance and have a good time.”
Single Barrel Social would feature a dance hall with a raised dance floor and live music.
“It’s going to be a variety of music. …The southwest feel will be at the core and we’ll have fun, themed nights,” he said. “I’m in Brighton and I know there is definitely a demand for it.”
The planned joint would serve small plates priced between about $4 and $20 a piece. It would also serve high end liquor and craft cocktails and feature a bourbon bar.
The kitchen would stay open until 2 a.m.
“We’re trying to remove barriers to staying here in Brighton. When you’re planning a fun night out, something that would push you out to Royal Oak, Ann Arbor or Detroit is the hours. Having the kitchen open until 2 a.m. will be a big part of it,” Klebba said.
Ashley Arold, a 27-year-old resident, is optimistic the business could take off.
“I know we have a few places like The POUND! Bar & Grill that are open late and have music, but there are no dance places around here. I think all we really have dance-wise is Wrangler’s (Saloon in Howell),” Arold said.
Arold said her friends travel outside of Livingston County to find nightlife.
“Usually Ann Arbor is where people go when they’re going out to dance, and if you think about it, people going out to dance are usually drinking and that’s just not safe,” she said. “Somewhere closer where they could get a cab home or whatever, that would be more ideal.”
Kathy Curley, a 50-something-year-old Brighton resident, said she isn’t sure if she would go there to dance. She would be interested in checking out the lounge bar and food menu.
“I think it is going to bring something different,” Curley said. “It might be ahead of its time, (for Brighton) but I hope not.”
Once a professional dancer and actor in Los Angeles, Klebba appeared in TV shows “Glee,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Dance Moms.” In the last few years, Klebba has focused on business investments, including working with his father and Planet Fitness franchisee Chris Klebba, who also is involved in developing Single Barrel Social. He also founded his own Brighton-based investment and equity management firm Northern Diamond Management, LLC.
He purchased the building in January, a few days before Border Cantina’s owners Joe and Melissa Jancevski left about 25 employees jobless by suddenly closing.
Livonia-based hospitality consultant Tyler Herron will be the director of operations and manage daily operations. The proposed establishment would also create an undetermined number of jobs for chefs, mixologists and other staff.
Single Barrel Social could be open by this winter or sooner, if all goes to plan.
“We’re looking at October, optimistically, for an opening date,” Klebba said.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.