Small-business owner says new stadium traffic plan will end his bar

Harry's Detroit abuts the Little Caesars Arena

DETROIT – He's owned the popular Harry's Detroit through some of this city's darkest days and survived, but the traffic around the new Little Caesars Arena may be what puts him out of business.

Harry Kefalonitis said his attorney is getting nowhere with the Illitch Organization over its proposed traffic plan.

"There's going to be a choke point right around us and it's going to hinder our business," Kefalonitis said of the stadium traffic flow, which, instead of exiting people onto Cass Avenue, will have traffic essentially enclosing his popular bar and restaurant. "It would effectively shut us down before and after the events for a few hours," he said.

Harry's Detroit abuts the Little Caesars Arena. In addition to the traffic flow, what is supposed to be a pedestrian thoroughfare will be cut off just before his business, which means it would be impossible to have any outdoor seating.

Kefalonitis took his concerns to Detroit's City Council on Friday and council members could see the problem. He's hoping the city will intervene. If not, it will be time for a lawsuit. He said he has no choice.

Ed Saenz, of Olympia Development, told Local 4 News in a statement, "We're working hard to continue to optimize traffic flow near businesses including Harry's through our city-approved traffic plan."

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