How Detroit’s Spot Lite Bar Is Forging Change In The Black Arts and Music Scene
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

How Detroit’s Spot Lite Bar Is Forging Change In The Black Arts and Music Scene

black owned business , Detroit , United States
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Mar 15, 2022

In just nine months of opening, Spot Lite Bar has become one of Detroit’s hottest meeting spaces. It’s hard to describe Spot Lite in definitive terms. The founder, Roula David, created it as a fusion of an art gallery and record store. 

But it’s morphed into so much more. 

Spot Lite is what you make it. It’s a meeting space for activism. A place for yoga. An art gallery. Want to twerk something? If the music beats hit you, then there’s no judgment there, either. 

Spot Lite Bar Detroit
Photo Credit: Se7enfifteen

It’s more of a vibe with an open space concept where collaboration and creativity meet. David provides music and art, You just bring your authentic self. And this is why there’s so much hype about the space buzzing around Motor City. The popularity is actually shocking for David. 

“Sometimes, I just sit there on a Saturday night and there are 400 people in there, and I’m thinking, ‘what the hell is going on?'” she told Travel Noire. “It’s a place that was being made close to my heart. It’s a very vulnerable place because I feel like people are walking into my home. I feel a lot of times like I can’t believe that all of these people come every day and love it.” 

Roula David Spit Lite Bar Founder
Founder Roula David. Photo Credit Christian Najjar

David, who has produced more than 150 murals across the city,  wants guests to walk in and feel like you’re getting a hug. Even with its popularity, a personal touch can be found in how the staff treats you, or by the candles and flowers on the table. All of these contribute to a welcoming atmosphere that feels like it’s catered just for you. 

“I want people to know that when they come here, they’re protected, and they’re safe,” David added.  “They have the freedom to express themselves, whether it’s through fashion, through dance, through art, and we’re here to support it.”

David’s contributions to the art scene were just highlighted on Facebook’s “On the Map” series highlighting Detroit’s Black Arts scene. Hosted by Chris “Speedy” Morman, the series is dedicated to raising awareness and highlighting young creators making a difference in their cities.

“When they called me, I’m like, ‘you know me? I’m only a few months in.’ I’m really grateful that the word is out that people are talking about it in a positive way.

Spot Lite Bar Detroit
Photo Credit: Jake Mulka

She added, “Most art galleries are owned by white men. Being a brown and Middle Eastern woman who is directing the space and telling the story from my perspective is a story that hasn’t been told yet. I think people are interested in how this space came together from my lens. It’s a different lens than what’s out there.”

You can find more information about the bar, including hours, by following Spot Lite on Instagram.

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