So what's the deal down at Chez Nous?
For the past few weeks, the doors at the renowned Grand Avenue soul joint have been locked up tighter than the vicodins at Artie Lange's house. A paper taped to the door states that the place is "temporarily closed" and would re-open sometime in March. (One part of the lounge's sign has also been broken and rests alongside the building.) But now that said month has come and gone, many Chez Nous fans (myself included) are left wondering when -- and if -- the lounge will ever be open for business ever again. Repeated calls to the lounges ownership and proprietors have unreturned.
While there have been many rumors swirling around as of late (lack of money, disputes with the property owner, liquor license issues), I've been unable to confirm any of these, so they remain just that, rumors. And regardless of what's going on behind the scenes, it seems like there won't be any of the lounge's famous martini's getting poured anytime soon.
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This isn't the first time Chez Nous has had to pull in it's welcome mat, as owner Amina Uben went through a seemingly-endless battles at the nightspot's previous location at Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road. For several years, Uben and others at the vintage lounge -- which originally opened in 1963 -- fought against the various owners of the property it sat upon, all of whom wanted to demolish the place and build a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.
Uben eventually lost the war against her opponents in 2007, and Chez Nous relocated to its current digs on Grand later that year. (Check out Stephen Lemons i-depth reporting of the situation here, here, here, and here).
Let's hope history isn't repeating itself and that Chez Nous won't end up going the way of the dodo. I know I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.