I'm not the first journo to have written an obit for Chez Nous, and seeing how things go with the tres cool nightspot, I probably won't be the last. Now comes news from owner Amina Uben that the 40-something soul emporium has at least another four months to live, and maybe more. Seems Red Mountain Retail Group, which manages the property Chez Nous sits on, has decided to play ball with Uben, offering her a four-month lease while she looks for a new location. There's the possibility that it might extend a little beyond that, and that Uben might even be able to have the building Chez Nous resides in! Amazing.
You'll recall from the 2/22/07 report in The Bird that at that point, the cozy hideaway with its vintage wallpaper, faux rock waterfall, and Superfly-esque ambiance seemed doomed to an untimely demise on Feb. 26th. Then there was a brief reprieve from the executioner that I reported on 2/28, and now this offer from Red Mountain. What gives? Well, Red Mountain's still planning to turn the property over to Brit supermarket chain Tesco at some point, but it seems like Tesco's been getting a little opposition from local unions. And then there's been the response from the community, which has been in shock over the potential loss of this neighborhood hub. Seems doubtful that this would actually stop Tesco, but maybe Red Mountain figured it would be in its best interest not to be perceived as running roughshod over a small businessperson, whose business happens to be beloved by Phoenicians.
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Whatever the reason, kudos to Red Mountain for giving Uben a chance to find a new home for the Chez. She says the city is helping out, so bully for them too. And more good news, satin-voiced crooner Roscoe Taylor is back on Sunday nights! Roscoe's about as much a part of Chez Nous as the wallpaper, so I'm glad to hear he's returned to hold court in the Chez as he should. I'll be there this Sunday night to check him out.