Onassis Coney Island permanently closed after a decade in the Corktown neighborhood, and the circumstances surrounding the closure are somewhat mysterious, Crain’s Detroit Business reports. According to Crain’s, not even the owner of the building, Joe Mifsud, was aware the restaurant had closed at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
However, owner Mario Gjolaj tells Eater in an email that the closure of the restaurant was not sudden, nor was it pandemic-related, but an agreement he came to with the landlord due to “other plans for that corner.”
“We were actually very fortunate during pandemic to not close one day,” he says.
The closure of Onassis Coney Island in Corktown, first noted on Twitter by Louis Aguila of Bridge Detroit, comes as the area surrounding the restaurant experiences a flurry of commercial and residential development, including the multi-million dollar renovation of the Michigan Central Station building by the Ford Motor Co.
A typed note taped to the front door states the restaurant is now closed. Google also lists the restaurant as “permanently closed”.
“Our time serving you on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull has come to an end. Corktown has been good to us and will always hold a special place in our hearts. We have been in the restaurant business for a long time, no location will ever compare to our customers here,” the note reads. “We will miss you and can’t thank you enough for all the love, support and appreciation we have received over the last 10 years. We will keep you posted on our social media pages (IG/Facebook) on where our next venture will be, if lucky not too far.”
“We would like to find a location nearby if not in Corktown,” Gjolaj says of the possibility of reopening elsewhere. “We have spoken to a few people and still looking at other possibilities.”
Update, February 17, 4:30 p.m.: This story has been updated with comment from Mario Gjolaj.