Rosemont leisure district house owners hopeful for 2022 rebound

Mike Matuschka admits that out of pattern, each and every time he gets out of his motor vehicle, he’s nonetheless achieving for a mask in advance of likely inside a small business.

“Of course, which is however on people’s minds all the time,” he said.

But two decades just after the pandemic started — and a yr immediately after it was the remaining straw that led to the closing of his struggling German beer corridor in Rosemont’s amusement district — Matuschka is placing down roots and doubling down on his expense there.

He and his company associate, father Joe, have retooled and reinvented a portion of the cavernous previous Hofbräuhaus Chicago into a pizzeria and craft beer bar — a idea he thinks will be additional financially effective year-round.

At the similar time, he is hoping the pandemic is at last turning the corner into an endemic.

“Actually, I am 100% self-confident. I believe that folks are not going to be put again in lockdown. I you should not believe people today are not going to want to go out anymore. They’ve been in for two years,” explained Matuschka, who opened Crust Brewing at Rosemont’s Parkway Lender Park in February. “This village — this entertainment district — you are not heading to keep anyone down in this article. Devoid of having my crystal ball, I’m 100% — this is going to be a residence operate.”

It truly is a identical degree of confidence expressed by other people who manage or individual venues in the 200,000-square-foot elaborate adjacent to the Tri-Condition Tollway — home to 15 eating and leisure venues — that could possibly have been the suburban poster child of how the pandemic impacted the hospitality industry.

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As they get ready for the warmer spring and summer time months — when free of charge weekly concert events usually draw 1000’s to the park — the enterprise proprietors are talking much more like it is 2019 yet again.

“We have gotta double down. We’re there previously,” stated Kevin Killerman, who is proprietor or partner in quite a few venues at the park. “You can find good eating places and leisure there. Exactly where else can you get cost-free parking and live shows and ice skating and walk from location to area? There’s so lots of possibilities.”

Killerman is element of a team of investors getting the other portion of the former 20,000-square-foot Hofbräuhaus from the village. He and Braden Actual Estate Chairman/CEO Marc Offit partnered with Texas businessmen Corey Urbach and Greg Sacony to convey Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar back to the enjoyment district.

The 5,800-sq.-foot piano bar opened April 1, as renovations are almost complete on an adjoining 1,800-square-foot bar that will open as Pete’s Tiki Tiki in Could.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

The 1st iteration of the piano bar opened in November 2019 in a diverse making in the amusement district, but shut the following March amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Following a quick summertime 2020 reopening for outdoor dining and minimal indoor seating, Pete’s shut and was converted into the Verilife recreational cannabis dispensary, which is leasing the building from Killerman and Offit.

“It is really legal, and it is a great, harmless area to go,” claimed Killerman, who claimed the wide range of venues in the park provides a little something for all people, “from 2 decades outdated to 82 yrs old.”

Even though attempting to keep its spouse and children-pleasant daytime graphic, the park has developed since its opening a decade in the past to develop into a key Northwest suburban night existence destination.

Which is why Killerman and village officials were self-assured in bringing back again the piano bar, which opened to massive crowds and get together bookings in 2019.

Subsequent doorway, at the 13,400-square-foot pizzeria and brewery room the Matuschkas acquired from the village — earlier, they leased the overall building for Hofbräuhaus — the homeowners say they have experienced early success considering that introducing the new principle in February.

They’ve saved the brewing tools from Germany — 9 substantial fermentation tanks that encounter the tollway outdoor, and 8 serving tanks inside of — but in any other case totally remodeled the interior. Crust’s menu has 7 staple beers that are brewed on web page, and some two dozen Neapolitan-design pizzas.

Hofbräuhaus — a attract in September and October and on weekends, but silent on summertime weeknights — could have been equipped to survive, but in a smaller sized house, Matuschka stated.

Right after an 8-12 months operate with the German beer corridor, he states he is content how the new pizza and beer eatery is becoming gained by shoppers.

“When was the previous time you were going out for German food items, and when was previous time you went out for pizza?” Matuschka said. “Sad to say in this hospitality enterprise where by the earnings margins are trim plenty of, people do not go out for German all the time.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Maria Lewis

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