New sports bar aims to be place for Rolling Meadows locals
Growing up playing football, basketball and baseball in Rolling Meadows Park District leagues, Mike Reppe recalls never having a place for him, his teammates and their families to go after games.
And years later, local restaurants still have had trouble gaining a foothold on Kirchoff Road -- the city's traditional downtown.
But Reppe, a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, hopes his new sports bar and restaurant will become the place for locals to go. He envisions Rep's Place, now undergoing interior renovations at 3200 Kirchoff Road, as a family-friendly spot for lunch and dinner and where adults can hang out at night.
"I want to give the community something to be proud of and hang their hats on," he said.
Rep's Place, Sports, Burgers & Beers will be inside a 2,000-square-foot space within the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center, in-between Jewel-Osco and Dollar Tree. It's been vacant for seven years, following the closure of Giuseppe Ristorante.
The new bar/restaurant will start small, but Reppe said it's possible the venue could expand to a neighboring space.
The restaurant will feature basic American fare, and could eventually do catering for events around town, Reppe said. He described the planned decor as a "comfortable, rustic, industrial mix." While the five major Chicago sports teams will be represented, the walls won't be overwhelmed with memorabilia, he said.
One piece of memorabilia he hopes to get is a football jersey of Rolling Meadows High School graduate Jimmy Garoppolo. The bar's sign and logo will also feature the school's purple and gold colors, Reppe said.
Reppe, a 1989 graduate of St. Colette School and 1993 graduate of Rolling Meadows High, grew up five minutes away from where he's opening his first bar/restaurant. As part of his community spirit, he's already signed on to sponsor three park district baseball teams.
"I'm trying to bring back the luster of wanting to participate in activities around Rolling Meadows," Reppe said. "I want to bring Americana back."
The city council is expected to take a final second reading vote on the bar's liquor license next week. Reppe hopes to hire staff starting in May.
He is targeting mid-June as an opening date.