Monday, March 24, 2008

Goodbye, New Hella's

Originally published in D-Tales here.

Yesterday was the final day of operation for Greektown mainstay New Hella's (at least, as we know it).

After 107 years in business, the restaurant around which Greektown was built (not to mention the restaurant that inspired the opening of their own competitors), has finally closed its doors. Why? Well, there is much speculation on that, but after sifting through the rumors for useful information, it sounds like it simply comes down to one thing: owner Gus Anton is old.

He's 80. He's been doing this since birth. He's tired. He's old.

But being old doesn't mean he's dumb. This from the rumor mill: Hella's was actually sold off for quite a chunk of change, and was already operating under the new ownership as of this weekend.

Apparently the location will remain a restaurant, though whether or not it remains a Greek restaurant is still unknown.

Either way, it is still sad to see the old owners, and original family, step down. New Hella's is a bit of Detroit history, and helped shape the popular Greektown area of downtown proper, providing a central zone of business and pleasure for Greek immigrants, and introducing Detroiters to authentic Greek cuisine. Still, sometimes progress requires change (a little bit of "out with the old"), so let's hope the new owners can make this spot as legendary as the old ones did.