Chin Tiki, photo by Feelin’ Zombified
It’s been a while since my last update about the Chin Tiki in Detroit. It’s been a very, very long time since Chin Tiki was operational — 1980 — but all the interiors were still there sitting unused in the decades that followed, leading locals to hope that perhaps Chin Tiki’s days were not quite over. But Marvin Chin died last year, and I believe much of the decor was sold or moved to his son’s restaurant, Chin’s in nearby Livonia.
The parking lot surrounding Chin Tiki had been sold years ago to Ilitch Holdings, and in February of this year, they took deed of the restaurant building, too. According to The Detroit News, Ilitch Holdings has been quietly purchasing other properties in this desolate area of Detroit, leading to speculation that there may be plans to build a new hockey arena — Mike Ilitch owns the Detroit Red Wings. Even if a hockey arena isn’t the ultimate outcome, it appears likely that the Chin Tiki building is destined to be razed for a larger development — developers don’t buy up four blocks of contiguous land because they really like the sidewalks.