Join the Metro Times Press Club: Because no news is bad news.

Raise the Bar: Catch a game at Cheli’s Chili Bar 

When you don't have tickets to a game, access to countless flat screens and a view of the giant stone tigers that guard the front gates of Comerica Park isn't a bad backup plan. Cheli's Chili couldn't be any closer to that Kentucky bluegrass, save if it was inside the stadium, and there's no place closer to enjoy a brewski and a burger before, after, or during a game.

The three-story bar offers two floors of indoor seating as well as a rooftop deck and an outdoor seating area on the ground floor. Though this place is owned by former Red Wing Chris Chelios, it was built for baseball fans (oh, and we suppose one might argue football fans too, but it's a few months too early to talk about that.)

While it's throwing distance from the Tigers' park, the place is decked out in all sorts of sports memorabilia. Hockey jerseys hang from the ceiling encased in glass, football helmets sit behind the bar. An "Eat 'Em Up Tigers" poster is tacked to one of the enormous wooden Corinthian columns that decorate the bar. Everywhere you look there are TVs playing sports.

The menu isn't huge at Cheli's. Of course you can get chili, but there are also sandwiches, burgers, chili dogs, salads, and nachos. That's pretty much it when it comes to what you'll be coating your gut with before getting to the beer drinking. And there is plenty of beer to drink. You'll find requisite brews like Miller, Bud, and Pabst Blue Ribbon, but their craft options are plentiful too. Their list includes Atwater Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, Bell's Oberon, Founder's All Day IPA, Dark Horse Raspberry Ale, Shorts Chatterbox American Ale, Saugatuck Starburst American Wheat, and more.

You can expect this place to be packed during a game, but lunch on a regular afternoon is a pretty relaxed affair. We must warn you, though, unless there is a home game and special event happening downtown, Cheli's closes at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you have a hankering for some of that famous chili, you'd better make there for the midday meal or you'll have to wait for the weekend.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit