The days of Ferndale’s coffee-house “living room” are coming to an end.
After five years, AJ’s Music Café will be closing Saturday.
It’s certain that AJ’s will be missed by many local musicians, artists and coffee-lovers, so the next few days for the grand closing celebrations and farewell concerts will be bittersweet. That’s evident even on the café’s Facebook page, where brothers AJ and Dennis O’Neil are promising their customers and friends that “The Café is but a building, the spirit lives on in the music, words, hearts of you.”
Gregory Panzica, who will play in his band at 9 p.m. Thursday, wrote “Looking forward to a great time celebrating the place I performed my first open mic. My band The Insurgency is honored to be a part of the celebrations. See you all there. Rock on!”
Several posts like Panzica’s appear each day, thanking the café for being a vital part of the community, building the excitement of the string of performances coming up and sharing some of their favorite AJ’s memories.
Take a look at what’s on the schedule over the next few days for one (or two, maybe three or four!) final chances to soak up the cultural and hipster vibe before it’s gone:
- Like a typical Wednesday, Open Mic Night will take place this evening. Guests should call at 6 p.m. to get in on the list and the performances start at 7 p.m. As always, Ted Berlinghof will lead the way.
- Stop in AJ’s around 7 p.m. Thursday to get in for the first string of concerts, which include World’s Biggest RollerCoaster, Diane Westin Band, Bastion, Joe Kidd and The Sedition World Orchestra, The Insurgency and Universal Circles.
- Friday bands switch by the hour, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Dimitri, Alan Cayn, Ernie Douglas, Gary Senick and Paul Gauogn are part of the lineup this night.
- Finally, Saturday will be the grand finale and farewell to AJ’s. From 7 p.m. to midnight, Laroosco, Steve Brook & Dale Robertson will perform, with a special tribute to the late AJ’s musicians and artists. The night will continue with popular bands such as Steve Clark & The Trending Topics, The Buntles, and Butch and Melvin Hollowell. Open mic host Ted Berlinghof will then kick off a memorable final “goodbye” as midnight approaches.
For more information on AJ’s and the closing events, call 248-399-3946 or visit its Facebook page.