The bar formerly known as Casey’s Pub is once again getting a shakeup. Bobcat Bonnie’s owner Matthew Buskard confirmed this week that he has backed out of the revamp of Casey’s Pub, leaving the project to a longtime Bonnie’s employee Johnny Irwin.
Buskard had struck a deal with Casey’s owner Andrea Relkin to revamp the struggling business last month. The new concept initially received criticism over the choice to offer non-traditional tacos, with some saying it was too close to Southwest Detroit. Buskard again received a wave of negative feedback over a controversial bar name Hoffa’s Hideout, which he quickly scrapped after discussions with labor leader Jimmy Hoffa’s family.
Buskard tells Eater he was “feeling a little trepidation about opening up next door” and decided to part ways with the project. He plans to refocus his energy on new projects in 2017, teasing that a new project in Wyandotte is in the works. In a statement posted to Facebook, the Bonnie’s owner further adds, “Some may say that you ‘wish them the best...’ But, in this case there is no need for wishes as I know it will do well under [Irwin’s] leadership.”
Irwin, who grew up and Southwest Detroit and worked at Red Lobster for many years prior to joining the team at Bonnie’s, has been developing a new name and menu for the bar. Reached by Eater, he confirms that Casey’s will become Red Corridor a blue collar spot that will keep in the “firemen theme” of its predecessor. The second floor now features a pool table, air hockey, darts, and a jukebox.
Burgers, too, will be back on the grill including possibly the beloved Casey Burger. While he’s still in talks with chefs, the new owner says diners can expect a shortlist of appetizers, salads, and burgers made with “really good beef.” Behind the bar, bartender Josh Duncan will be preparing cocktails and pouring craft beers as well as the traditional lowbrow Pabst and Stroh’s.
While reports initially had Red Corridor opening this weekend, Duncan has pushed the date back to December 2 in order to make sure everything is running smoothly. “I want to open it and do it 100 percent,” he says.
Correction: A previous version of this post misrepresented Bobcat Bonnie’s as popping up with Dangerously Delicious Pies.
• Red Corridor Facebook [Official]
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