46ºF

Cheli's Chili Bar in Downtown Detroit closes

Bar first opened in 2005 during Super Bowl XL

DETROIT – Former Detroit Red Wings Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios' Detroit restaurant closed Saturday after more than a decade in business.

For its final day open, the restaurant went out with a bang.

"It's going to be a great night," Chelios said. "Some people will never forget that."

The bar has long served as a hangout for Lions and Tigers fans since it opened in 2005.

"I opened this bar so I could be with the fans -- talk  with the fans, drink with the fans," Chelios said. "You can't be a deadbeat bar owner. That's the bottom line, so I have to move on."

Chelios left his advisory role with the Red Wings in July to move to Chicago, where he played for almost a decade for the Blackhawks, to be closer to his family.

"It's going to be sad when opening day comes around and we're not going to be working here," said employee Dominick Marano. "I just hope it turns into something fun." 

Chelios sold the bar to the Illitch family, which owns the Red Wings and the Tigers, and he promises they have big plans for it.

"The concept that they have is a great concept," Chelios said. "It's just perfect for Detroit."

Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013 and helped Detroit win two Stanley Cup championships.


About the Authors: