Built to look like the original in Bavaria, the former Hofbräuhaus Chicago is undergoing an exterior and interior transformation to more closely resemble other dining and drinking venues in Rosemont’s entertainment district.
Construction crews already were at work Monday morning, ripping down the white stucco that covers the shuttered German beer hall at Parkway Bank Park, just as village trustees were formally approving a $1.6 million contract with Degen & Rosato Construction Co. for the remodeling work.
Plans are to add brick to the exterior from top to bottom, matching other buildings in the village-owned entertainment area adjacent to the Tri-State Tollway. The upgrades are being done before three new venues — a pizzeria and craft beer bar, piano bar, and tiki bar — move inside the cavernous 20,000-square-foot former Hofbräuhaus.
“This looks like a German beer hall,” said Mayor Brad Stephens. “It makes sense to have it look consistent with the rest of the entertainment district.”
Plans for Crust — the new 13,400-square-foot pizzeria — were announced in February, followed by the May announcement of the 5,000-square-foot Pete’s Piano Bar and 1,800-square-foot Tiki Tiki bar. Officials had hoped the new venues would be ready to open before Labor Day, but Stephens said Monday the availability of building materials has delayed the process.
The updated timeline for the pizzeria to open is by the end of the year, and the piano and tiki bars next spring, the mayor said.
Uncertainty over the pandemic and possible further state-imposed restrictions also has proprietors behind the latter two venues delaying their planned $1.148 million purchase of their portion of the building. On Monday, they inked a one-year lease deal with the village through September 2022, at which time they plan to buy the property, Stephens said.
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For now, he referred to the lease deal as a “safety net.”
The piano bar had a strong opening in November 2019 in a different building in the entertainment district, before the March 2020 shutdown. That building was converted to the Verilife recreational marijuana dispensary, which opened in February.
In April, the village inked a $2.165 million sale of the Crust portion of the building to father-and-son businessmen Joe and Mike Matuschka, who previously operated Hofbräuhaus for eight years under a lease. They’ve said rising costs and shrinking profits led them to retool and introduce the pizza and craft beer concept.