By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — After just over a year of being locked up and closed, the former Cheli’s Chili Bar building is almost set to re-open as a new business in a few weeks.
Nar Bar, a sports and cigar bar on the northwest corner of Michigan and Oakwood Boulevard, is slated to open in March.
Owner Najib Rizk, who also owns Le Cigar Emporium, purchased the building in February and hopes to keep the business similar to Cheli’s, but with an added cigar lounge.
“Nar Bar will offer guests a different experience because it will be a different environment with food and sports rather than the conversational atmosphere found at Le Cigar,” Rizk said. “I have made several changes to the interior from the way it was before, and it’s looking really good on the inside.”
Rizk said he will own the business, but it will be run by his brother, Mohamad Rizk.
Rizk also said that in addition to the interior and exterior work that has been performed on the building itself, he appeared before the city’s Planning Commission Jan. 13 and was granted approval for a special land use and site plan to have smoking on the premises at the new business.
“I have been given the approval of the city to move forward, so we are trying to get everything set up for opening soon,” Rizk said. “We can’t wait.”
Cheli’s was owned by former Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios. After a 10-year run, the restaurant closed on Feb. 20.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])