One of the sad things about Chris Chelios' leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization (to live closer to his aging mom) is that he was closing Cheli's Chili Bar, across from Comerica Park.

Now we know what's going into that space. The Detroit Free-Press says it's Tin Roof. Its a place that bills itself as a place for live music, "eclectic" atmosphere and the usual food and drink. Tin Roof expects to open this fall, so it appears we'll have a lost baseball season, in more ways than one.

Tin Roof on it's website says it's goal is "to give musicians a place to play and a place to hang when they weren’t on stage. ...Over the years, our stages have hosted the famous, the should have been famous, and everyone in between."

What made Cheli's appealing to us, was that they didn't gouge people on their food and beer prices ahead of games. Hot dogs and Burgers were reasonable. ($3 and $4, respectively) Last summer, you paid $5 for an Oberon, same as in Kalamazoo, and half the $10 they asked inside the ballpark.

Having a hot dog and beer at Cheli's in Detroit. (Dave Benson, TSM)
Having a hot dog and beer at Cheli's in Detroit. (Dave Benson, TSM)

But this is where you have to balance business reality versus self-interest. The great thing about going to Cheli's was we only went before and after ballgames across the street at Comerica Park. Well, that's only about 81 dates a year. Even if you toss in ten Lions games plus Red Wings and Pistons games down the street at the LCA, that's still a lot of down time.

Most of these trendy places are not cheap, though Tin Roof doesn't look too overly expensive, either. Let's hope someone tells the new tenants about the great deal the previous tenants had. Does the fact the Ilitch Organization owns the property help? Not sure. They're the ones charging double at the ballpark.



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