Iconic Detroit sports bar Cobo Joe's is closed

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Cobo Joe's is seen, Friday Jan. 4, 2013 in Detroit.

A home base for Detroit hockey fans for decades, sports bar Cobo Joe's closed for good Tuesday. 

Partner Delroy Thomas confirmed the closing, saying that he and owner Richard Cadreau had decided not to renew the bar and restaurant's lease. Thomas hopped on board at Cobo Joe's about a year ago to try a few new concepts like live Motown music and a Caribbean menu. 

“We tried everything,” said Thomas. “The lease was up for renewal and when we thought about it, you know, Richard, he was done. It’s a challenging location”

Thomas, who said the building is owned by an out-of-state company, thought about continuing without Cadreau, who has owned Cobo Joe's for more than a decade, but decided not to. 

"We miss Joe Louis," he said, adding that events at Cobo Center helped, but not having Joe Louis across the street, "that was the killer." 

Problems at Cobo Joe's were well-documented. The 2013 NHL freeze took a toll on sports bars downtown. Cadreau, who bought Cobo Joe's in 2004, told The Detroit News in 2013 that he lost $350,000 that season.

Cobo Joe's is the second storied sports bar to be in the news this week. Owners of another longstanding hockey fan hot spot the Anchor Bar announced Monday they are selling to the Elia Group, which also owns Parc in Campus Martius and 220 Merrill in Birmingham. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens