Suffice it to say, Corktown isn't what it used to be. With the closing of Tiger Stadium and the rise of hip, trendy eateries opening up on Michigan Avenue in recent years
, some of the neighborhood's old sports bars just weren't able to stay afloat. Casey's Pub was one such joint, suddenly shuttering at the beginning of the year. This past Monday, though, the bar reopened with a brief post on their Facebook page
announcing the return: "Back in full swing! Thanks for the support."
"We just weren't making any money," explains Andrea Relken, who says in its heyday the bar "could run itself." Her father, Ed Powers, was a former firefighter and ran the bar for 30 years, and between fellow firefighters, cops, ballplayers, and Tigers fans, Casey's had a loyal clientele. But a sports bar serving Bud Light and fryer food just wasn't cutting it in Corktown anymore.
"This whole area's growing and unfortunately weren't growing with it," Relken says. "When we closed down my dad sat for about a week and a half and came to my house and asked me if I thought there was a way we could reopen it again. After 30 years, we weren't ready to give it up."
Relken says they've completely overhauled their menu, with their cook of 25 years retiring. They still serve their classic half-pound Casey Burger, made with fresh meat from Eastern Market's S & D Packing Co., but added a smaller, cheaper 1/3-pound version. They've added chorizo from Honeybee Market to their sloppy joes make the new "sloppy josé." And then there's the new Casey Club, a kaiser roll with fresh ham and turkey topped with coleslaw and fries — which are now hand-cut.
Following the craft beer boom, Relken says they've also added Bell's and Atwater beers to their taps. "We're not going to stay with the typical Bud Light, Miller Light-type thing," Relken says. "Our prices are still the same, though. We're still a cheap place with a heavy pour."