Chili Mustard Onions restaurant in Detroit will close in December

Chili Mustard Onions owner Pete LaCombe prepares an order for a customer while working in the kitchen of the vegan Coney Island restaurant in Detroit on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Pete has had to cut down the amount of days the restaurant is open from six to four days and has had to cut his staff significantly many other vegan restaurants in the city have either downsized or closed altogether during the pandemic.  He also struggles to afford the cost of vegan goods, such as plant-based meat which is not subsidized or sold in bulk like traditional ground beef.

The owners of Chili Mustard Onions said they are closing the doors of Detroit’s only vegan coney spot.

Owner Pete LaCombe said the business is up for sale. The restaurant expects to close in December, though no date was given.

“It has nothing to do with us being slow,” LaCombe said. “We are out of money and didn’t get any help. The business is for sale.”

LaCombe, along with his wife, Shellee, and daughter Darla are behind Chili Mustard Onions, or CMO, which opened its doors in 2018 on Brush Street in Detroit’s Brush Park neighborhood. A former die designer in the automotive industry, LaCombe became a vegan about 10 years ago.

“It is popular, I love it and people love it — I just don’t know how much more I can do,” LaCombe told the Free Press for a story on vegan restaurants hit hard by the pandemic.

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