The Dynamics, Dedication & Diversity of THE MIXX

Posted In: Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 657   By: Robert E Martin

27th March, 2008     0

Within the expanse of two years since its opening, The Mixx Nightclub has evolved into one of historic Old Town Saginaw's jewels of architectural renovation, and one of the more divergent venues for nightlife entertainment, mixing the elements of a Big City Cosmopolitan atmosphere with small town friendly service.

Located in the former 1910 Commercial National Band Building complex at 115 N. Hamilton in Old Saginaw City that formerly harbored El Farolito restaurant and The Mirage club, The Mixx was born from the vision and determination of Robb Wiersum, a Grand Rapids native who began his career as a nightclub entrepreneur when he opened a similar club called Diversions in the historic business district of downtown Grand Rapids fourteen years ago. It took Wiersum 2 years to renovate and restore The Mixx, replete with gold leaf trim and marbleized pillars. Recently Wiersum also purchased a home in Saginaw and currently divides his time equally between the two cities.

Robb first got the bug for the entertainment industry from his parents, whom opened their own restaurant in Grand Rapids back in 1969. "Once its in your blood, your kind of hooked," laughs Robb.

"Basically, I moved to San Diego in the 1990s and worked as the director of catering for a big hotel, but got homesick and came back to Grand Rapids, where the club scene was virtually nothing," he explains.

"Most of the clubs and bars over there were not very big on giving back to the community, so I went to my father with a business proposal and said I could do better. He backed me and the first night Diversions opened in Grand Rapids, we had a line formed around the block. Since then Diversions has raised $750,000 for Michigan charities."    

Extremely community oriented, Robb is adamant about following a similar approach with The Mixx, and to date has held fundraisers in support of Pit & Balcony, The Saginaw Symphony, the annual AIDS walk, and is involved with the local business associations.  "This area of Saginaw reminds me a lot of Grand Rapids 14 years ago," reflects Robb, "and I share the vision of seeing condos on the river and vital activity in the area. It's only a matter of time before it happens."

"Another fundraising event we pioneered is an annual Holiday Charity auction that raised $15,000 the first year and one year raised $100,000. It got so big we had to move it to the college next to us in Grand Rapids, so it's important to my mind to give back to the community. I'm not one of those club owners that sits and drinks all night long," laughs Robb.

Robb first got the idea for opening The Mixx from a Saginaw business leader that attended one of his charity auctions in Grand Rapids. "He bid on a painting and paid a considerable amount of money for it and then said he didn't have room for it and asked if I would 'hold' the painting for him awhile," explains Robb. "We became friends and I came to Saginaw and studied the architecture over here and it reminded me a lot, as I say, of Grand Rapids 14 years ago. There's a tremendous amount of opportunity and untapped potential in Saginaw." 

"After studying my demographics and doing research, I thought The Mixx was the right fit at the right time," continues Robb. "A lot of investment is going on in the Old Town area and Saginaw is a diverse city, so I felt my club would serve as a perfect fit."     

Something Diversions and The Mixx share in common is Robb's belief that he wants the 'feel' of the club similar to that of going over to a good friend's house. "I believe in nice atmosphere and friendly service. We cater to a mixed clientele, which is one of the reasons that I decided to call it The Mixx - a combination of young, old, gay, or straight - it doesn't matter; because I want people to feel comfortable no matter who they are.  The more eclectic the crowd, the more interesting the club."      

Since it's opening, The Mixx is rapidly developing a statewide reputation for its 'Theme Parties', which are usually holiday based. In February, for example, was the 'Pink Party' and on March 22nd the club celebrated the end of winter with their Blue Party, where they celebrated melting ice and the beginning of Spring by bringing in huge ice blocks with the bar decorated entirely in blue.

"I follow my father's example by bringing three important elements together," notes Robb. "First, I believe in putting money back into my business, secondly I believe in supporting the community through my involvement, and finally I believe in creating the most customer friendly atmosphere possible."  

With two years of The Mixx under his belt, Robb feels the club is finally starting to come into its own. "We've come together in a way that I never thought it would," he explains. "We're drawing a lot of college kids from Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw, plus we're getting people traveling from as far away as Traverse City and Grand Rapids." 

"We play high energy dance music," continues Robb, "because again, I don't wish to be classified in one particular genre. We'll play everything from Acid Jazz to Abba's Dancing Queen to Amy Winehouse, but it's important to note we're not a hard rock club."       

"I don't put up with any anti-social behavior in either of my clubs," states Robb. "I want people to feel comfortable. We're not the cheapest bar on the strip, but we are one of the nicest."
"I'm enthused by the fact we're getting people from Lansing and Muskegon driving up to party at the club and then staying in Saginaw. We are bringing people into the area and they're finding the area truly has a lot to do and see."  

Additionally, if patrons are interested in renting the ballroom, it is available and can accommodate anywhere form 80 to 100 people.

Loaded with a state-of-the-art light and sound system, The Mixx features Karaoke on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights beginning at 10:00 PM with over 20,000 songs to choose from. The Dance Floor is open Friday & Saturday nights at 10:00 PM with House DJ Rod Marx.  The Video Bar is open

Wednesday through Sunday at 6:00 PM and the club serves great food Wednesday through Saturday until 10:00 PM, with appetizers until 1 AM.

For more information phone The Mixx Nightclub & Metro Grill at 989-498-4022 or check out


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