Blogger Raises A Final Toast to the Comet, Shutting Wednesday

October 13, 2014, 2:10 PM by  Alan Stamm

A year ago this month, here's what Thrillist said about a classic bar on Henry Street:

Comet is for any Detroiter or traveler passing through Cass Corridor who likes a smoky, dingy, true-to-form dive.

Flash forward to October 2014 and here's what local blogger Nancy Nall Derringer reports:

It’s farewell to the Comet Bar, a Cass Corridor dive that will soon fall to the relentless march of progress. It closes Wednesday.

Last call is Wednesday because of "the relentless march of progress," as Nancy Nall Derringer puts it.

Derringer, who made a farewell visit Saturday night, reflects on a changing neighborhood:

I’ve been thinking a lot about gentrification this year, and this is a classic case that looks open-and-shut from a certain perspective, and it’s not necessarily wrong.

The area around the [new hockey] arena’s footprint is already flowering, and my guess is it will continue to. You can certainly argue with the financing of this arena, which is the usual privatize-the-profit, socialize-the-risk deal. But Detroit needs all the help it can get, and this will help. But.

One reason people have started returning to this area has been its mix of — cliché alert ahead — grit and fun and, shall we say, its atmosphere, so unlike the suburbs. I don’t care what anyone says; the number of people who want to live in an area of perfect cleanliness and safety are already living in Seaside, Fla., and are 10,000 years old. Younger people want a little excitement in their lives. I disagree that sports arenas provide it, but they certainly inject a little oxygen into an area.

But the old Cass Corridor, now rechristened Midtown, was never as bad as people in the suburbs feared it was, and the good things about it — the music, the street scene, places like the Comet — were a product of artists, students and others who lived closer to the margins than those who can afford NHL tickets.

They’ll find new neighborhoods; they always do. But in the meantime, it’s worth a final toast to places like the Comet.

Sign at the Comet is about Topic A there. (Photo by Nancy Nall Derringer)

Deadline readers also post tributes at our Facebook page, where Dave Walker of St. Clair comments: "Another one of my favorite bars will become a fond, but somewhat cloudy, memory."

Elsewhere on Facebook, Joe Rashid says "I am really going to miss Comet Bar" and Jen Burnham says: "NOOO!!!! Comet bar was my 1st Detroit bar experience!"

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