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"Blood on the Walls" Biker Bar Transformed Into House of Recovery

posted 11:26 PM EST, Mon March 24, 2008
"Blood on the Walls" Biker Bar Transformed Into House of Recovery © Photo: Algavernicky

Once the roughest joint in town, the Eastwood Tavern has been renamed the Eastwood House of Recovery - Now healing instead of hurting.

Once a Biker bar known for violence and with literal blood on the walls, the Eastwood Tavern in Comstock County Michigan has been rechristened the Eastwood House of Recovery, and now tends to the very people who used to drink heavily within its walls.

Mike Green, a retired truck driver and ex addict opened the reincarnated Eastwood facility last year. Now serving hope instead of whiskey, the community center is open 12 hours a day to those in the community looking for sober support and recovery fellowship. Home to six 12 steps meetings a day, pot luck dinners and weekly euchre tournaments, the facility has met a real need, and the response has surprised even the optimistic Mike Green. About 100 people walk through the doors on an average day.

Steve Somers, 24, says he comes to the Eastwood House of Recovery just to chat sometimes, and describes it as "a place to come where I know alcohol won't be an issue - there are some days when I'm here 12 hours a day."

The building is owned by the non-profit Geek Group, and Mike Green pays the organization half of what he collects through "pass the hat" donations as rent each month.

Green, who spent 19 years abusing heroin and alcohol now suffers from stage 2 Hep C, and doctors say he won't make 60, but he explains "if it weren't for people in the recovery community helping me out when I needed it most, I wouldn't be alive today. This is my way of giving back to people in recovery who need somewhere to go."

Jim Wickline, 82, an appreciate patron of the new facility sums up the transformation as "A place of destruction has been turned into a house of construction."

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