Longtime Detroit bar feuds with Little Caesars Arena about barricades blocking pedestrians

Owner of Harry's Bar says his lawyers have talked with Olympia for months

DETROIT – The owner of a longtime Detroit bar said Olympia Development and Little Caesars Arena are trying to push him out of the location he has been at for more than 25 years.

Harry's Bar, on Clifford Street near the new arena, is feuding with Olympia regarding barricades that keep customers from getting to the bar. Barricades were put up Thursday on a pedestrian-only stretch that links the arena from Woodward Avenue to Cass Avenue.

"It's so petty, it's just ridiculous," bar owner Harry Kefalonitis said. “Every single day they cut off the bridges, cut off the roads. They try to block people from coming in."

He said his lawyers have been in contact with Olympia for months, and there have been struggles over property, construction, traffic patterns and, now, barricades. When photos of the barricades were sent to Detroit Public Works, the city came out and had the barricades removed.

"The city had them open it up because they said they don't have authority to do it," Kefalonitis said.

His lawyer is demanding action from City Council in a letter, which reads in part, "This type of conduct needs to be brought to the attention of the administration and city council by you so that there is a final traffic plan adopted and regulations prohibiting this type of vindictive conduct."

Local 4 reached out to Olympia but did not get an immediate response. In the past, the company said it is still working on traffic flow issues around the arena.

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