Helka, along with his brother Dennis, and Dearborn business owner John Carone, have bought Kelly’s Irish Pub in Dearborn.
The pub, 3701 Telegraph Road, closed June 14 to undergo some renovations by its new management. It’s set to reopen in early July.
“We want to keep it a neighborhood Irish pub,” Helka said. “Everyone knows the name Kelly’s.”
Jim Kelly founded the establishment more than 30 years ago.
“I always told Jim that if he ever retired, I wanted to buy the place,” Helka said.
And that’s exactly what happened. Kelly retired and sold his bar to three of his best patrons.
“When I started drinking there over 20 years ago, it was kind of my watering hole,” Helka said. “We all grew up in that neighborhood. We’re all Dearborn guys.”
In addition to Dotte Pub, Helka also owns Delux Bar & Lounge in Greektown. Carone is the owner of the Don Yeyo Cigar Factory in Dearborn.
Fans and staff of Kelly’s celebrated the retirement of Jim Kelly last Wednesday at the bar, and on the establishment’s Facebook page.