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Cass Corridor Jazz Bar Cobb’s Corner Is Getting a Revival on Willis Street

The bar is slated to open later this year

Cobb’s Corner is filling the former Spiral Collective space on Willis Street.
Brenna Houck
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

An old school bar and music lounge from Cass Corridor is getting a revival in its original location this year. Signs advertising positions for Cobb’s Corner were recently posted to the windows of the former Spiral Collective space at the corner of Cass Avenue and Willis Street.

Robert Cobb, who owns the building and the Willis Gallery, opened the original Cobb’s Corner bar in 1970 serving as a casual spot for a drink and a hangout for bikers. Cobb eventually sold the business in 1979 to brothers Henry and Howard Normile. Under Henry Normile’s stewardship, it was transformed it into what some described as an up-and-coming destination for jazz music in the city. Sadly, Normile was shot and killed a year later on the foyer of his apartment next door to the bar in what might have been a drug-related incident, according to obituaries, and the bar lost its momentum. Cobb’s Corner closed within a few years of the incident and has since been home to a revolving set of retailers.

Brenna Houck

Robert Cobb confirms to Crain’s that he now plans to reopen the bar in the spirit of the original with affordable drinks, bar food, and live music. The bar is expected to seat roughly 70 patrons. According to records from the state liquor licensing commission, Cobb began applying for a liquor licensing transfer in 2016. The bar is anticipated to open sometime in November.

The reopening of Cobb’s Corner will follow in the footsteps of other classic Detroit bars and clubs that have enjoyed a rebirth in recent years including Willis Show Bar, Cliff Bell’s, and Kiesling.

Bar to Open Where ‘70s Cass Corridor Jazz Spot Once Stood [Crain’s]
Cornerspotted: Spiral Collective, Corner of Cass and Willis [CDET]
Henry Normile Obituaries [Corridor Tribe]
All Bars Coverage [ED]
All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]

Willis Show Bar

4156 3rd Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 788-7469 Visit Website


449 East Milwaukee Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 638-2169 Visit Website

Cobb's Corner

4201 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI

Cliff Bell's

2030 Park Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 961-2543 Visit Website