One for the road? Hazel Park bar serves green ooze drink after I-696 spill
Hazel Park — A bar is serving up a new concoction this week resembling the green ooze that spilled nearby on Interstate 696, "a highway special," the owner calls it.
Max Dugans, a blues bar on 10 Mile that opened in May, is selling the "696 Special" shot for $4.50. It's described as "an amazing shot that'll make you glow," bar owner Steve Sawyers said.
Sawyers said the drink was created to make the best of out a terrible situation.
"We just wanted to make some light-hearted fun, and the drink is one of the biggest sellers," said Sawyers, from Hazel Park. "We've sold 30 today and will probably keep it on the menu as a staple for a while."
To follow the mystery, head bartenders won't disclose what is in the drink.
State officials, meanwhile, said Thursday no contaminants were found in the storm drain following the oozing of green liquid on Dec. 20 on eastbound I-696 just west of Couzens in Madison Heights.
State officials identified the liquid as water contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing chemical normally used in textile dyes, wood preservation and inks. They also determined the ooze was coming from the basement of a nearby business called Electro-Plating Services.
The company's building is located on the 950 block of E. 10 Mile. Electro-Plating Services was shut down amid a 2017 Superfund environmental cleanup. Its owner, Gary A. Sayers, pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal handling of hazardous waste and is set to surrender next month to begin serving a one-year prison term.
While the drink isn't meant to send messages, Sawyer says there must be higher penalties for environmental crimes.
"The problem is the EPA was already there and that building should have been taken down," Sawyers said. "It's horrible. We're seeing it on the news each day, and there's a lot of problems with our environment that need to be told. Michigan's known for its clean water. It's important for our kids and grandkids to hold accountable people who pollute.
"As for the drink, we just want to make the best out of this hard life."