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PJ’s Lager House in Corktown Finds A Buyer [Updated]

The beloved bar, restaurant, and music venue will maintain its current charm

From 2016, the interior of PJ’s Lager House, the bar, eatery, and music venue in Corktown
Michelle Gerard
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

PJ’s Lager House, the venerable Corktown bar, restaurant, and music venue has found a buyer, after more than three years on the market. Owner Paul “PJ” Ryder put the spot on the market for $2.2 million back in 2019 and, according to Deadline Detroit, he’s finally found a buyer, the landlord who owns the property occupied by James Oliver Coffee next door.

While Ryder did not disclose the selling price, he told the website that the buyers “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Ryder said that he expects the deal to close in September. James Oliver Coffee owner David Shock told Eater that the buyer is Alex Riley, who also owns the property that houses Shock’s coffee shop.

In 2019 when the building was first listed, Ryder told Curbed that age, timing, and the challenges of running a bar, noting that “trying to sell when you don’t have to sell is the best time to sell.”

During the pandemic, PJ’s struggled to remain open. In 2020, the bar and restaurant shuttered temporarily when several employees contracted COVID-19. The closure prompted a GoFundMe campaign that went toward supporting the impacted employees.

In his interview with Deadline Detroit this week, Ryder said that there are currently no plans to change anything about the space, it will remain a destination for music and food.

In a 2019 interview with Curbed, when Ryder purchased the property 2007, Corktown was still considered a seedy part of town where folks looking for drugs or shady activities would frequent. PJ’s since made a name for itself as, not only a venue for indie bands and beers, but also as a vegetarian and vegan-friendly brunch spot — historically something of a rarity in the city.

Correction: July 28, 2022, 10:35 a.m.: This article was updated to include comments from David Shock, owner of James Oliver Coffee, who identified the name of the buyer, Alex Riley, who also owns the property occupied by the coffee shop.