By: Kristen Wolosonowich
A Taste Of The Past, A Promise Of The Future Flint’s X Provides An Exciting And Excellent Experience
Believe it or not, X, located in downtown Flint near the newly rebuilt Capitol Theatre, literally has been nine years in the making.
Co-Owner Phil Shaltz had a vision and has been waiting for the right opportunity to bring the “speakeasy” experience to downtown Flint MI. With homes in both Flint and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Phil was inspired by a New York City speakeasy called PDT’s (Please Don’t Tell). Since 2008 he knew it was an environment and cultural experience he would bring back to his hometown of Flint.
In a space that once housed the Merge, Phil and his business partner Dr. Bobby Mukkemla, opened the perfect club for what they believe fills a major need in Genesee County. When Merge closed and provided the perfect location and vibe, Phil and Bobby planned the launch of X. In only six months, with hard work and grit, their dream opened to the public, catering to an urban / modern type of experience.
The artwork in X is impressive, including an ever-changing mural (14 x 9 feet) currently the Manhattan bridge; then New Orleans; then another big city. The X menu provides its own graphic flair as well.
The X experience is continually evolving and is something Flint has never seen. That was Phil’s goal – X looks like nothing you probably have never seen in style, vibe, and simplicity. The public enters through an alley, like in speakeasies of old… and the rest of the X-perience is a secret to be discovered yourself!
X, Phil Shaltz promises, is unique and interesting; and once you are “in,” is like nothing seen before, with its own style, its own creativity, and an intriguing simplicity in design. The staff is as amazing as X itself. The signature cocktails have been called out of this world.
DJs reign on special occasions, and soon Thursday and Fridays will be dedicated to spinning vinyl from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Why vinyl? Phil says that besides his time in Flint and New York, the Rose Rabbit Lie of Las Vegas also has been a tremendous inspiration. Phil believes this follows the mood and clientele that X attracts. He asks, “Where can you go in Flint and spin Nancy Wilson from the ‘50s and ‘60s?” Phil himself had 150 vinyls
such as the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane but unfortunately lost them all in a flood; that is why vinyl is so important to him. It represents a very magical time in music, and he is excited to bring it to Genesee County.
Phil, who was born in Flint in 1948, is dedicated to a city that has seen its share of hardships, but also exciting transformations – the birthplace of General Motors; now morphing into a medical, economic, and educational environment (UofM-Flint; MSU; Hurley; McLaren; Genesys; etc.)
Phil is extremely excited for the future. “I love this place! It has been good to me. It is socially responsible to give back to other generations.” His eyes light up when he talks about his childhood in this amazing city and he is excited to be a part of the continued growth of the downtown Flint expansion. Phil and Bobby also own 501, Table and Tap along with X. Phil was one of the original Uptown Six members that in 2004 started the revitalization of downtown and X is the latest addition to this vibrant city.