||Mich Bev Journal profiles Chesley's
The March 2002 issue of the Michigan Beverage Journal wrote a profile about Chesley's Bar and Grille. This magazine is a monthly publication directed to bar and nightclub owners. We are honored that the Michigan Licenced Beverage Journal took interest in our establishment.
Article reprinted with permission:
Sue and Sandy Smith never really planned on being in the bar and restaurant business, but when their brother passed away suddenly they inherited Chesley's Bar and Grille in Lincoln Park. With established clientele and loyal employees, the sisters were able to successfully take over the business in 1997.
Having no experience in the industry was no problem for Sue and Sandy. "We were as scared as a deer caught in the headlights, but with the help of a wonderful staff and very caring patrons, we managed to adapt to the business," said Sue. "Now we find we love the business, even with its daily challenges."
At Chesley's you'll find a very friendly, down to earth staff that has been working at the bar for some time. Employees tend to stay because of the family atmosphere provided by the bar and its owners. "We would be lost without them ... they are good-hearted people," says Sue. The manager of Chesley's is fittingly named Chesley Odom. "My brother bought the bar from his dad, who had named it after himself and his son," said Sue. "He is the personality behind the bar and we depend on him a great deal."
Walking into Chesley's, patrons get a sense of tradition and nostalgia. The wood trimmings and the quaint size of the bar give the place character. Nicole, who bartends days, greets everyone as they come in, as does the rest of the staff. Booths line the back wall of the bar along with a full-length mirror.
The family atmosphere amongst the employees is evident by just watching them interact with each other. This atmosphere attracts people from all walks of life. "We get autoworkers, businessmen, bikers, and babes," commented Sue.
Chesley's has a full bar, with Guinness, Bass Ale, Killian's, Bud Light, Miller Light, and Labatt's on tap. They are known for a few specialty drinks such as the Tee Tom, which is a mixture of rum and juices, as well as their Long Island Tea served Lincoln Park style with a special ingredient.
As for the food, the owners go by the "get them in the door philosophy," which means outrageously inexpensive food. For example, customers can get a New York Strip steak for $4.99 on Wednesdays. Chesley's also has a full menu with standard bar fare along with a wide variety of other dishes. Their burgers are famous in the Detroit area and The Detroit News included Chesley's in their Best Burgers article in January of 2000.
At Chesley's they get customers in the door and the atmosphere will keep them coming back. "You need great food at a great price and with exceptional service to be above the competition," added Sue.
Charity work and community involvement are a large part of what makes Chesley's a unique bar. Loyal patrons have worked with Chesley's to raise over $10,000 in the past year for charities. To raise money, the owners put together a successful golf outing this past summer. The Stephanie Tye Memorial Golf Outing raised $6,500 last year and is scheduled again for June 29, 2002 with all proceeds being donated to the Make-A- Wish foundation.
Also this past January Chesley's sponsored the Nine Pin Tap Bowling event that raised $1,800 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These events are brought to the owners by regular customers such as the Tyes, who lost their daughter to cancer and now donate money to the Make-A-Wish foundation in her name.
Team sponsorship is another way Chesley's stays involved in the community. They sponsor adult softball teams and also kids' hockey teams. For more information on Chesley's charity events including the Stephanie Tye Memorial Golf Outing visit their website at ww.chesleysbar.com.