Dueling piano bar announced for Rosemont entertainment district

Rosemont's entertainment district will soon feature dueling pianos inside a new bar that will be built in the district's last remaining developable space, officials said Wednesday.

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar plans to open its first location outside Texas next year in Rosemont's Parkway Bank Park, the 200,000-square-foot complex east of the Tri-State Tollway and north of Balmoral Avenue. The village board Wednesday approved a ground lease with the company, and architects are designing plans for the proposed 6,000-square-foot building.

The venue would feature nightly entertainment from four performers rotating in and out on two baby grand pianos set up on stage. Audience members, waitresses and bar staff also get involved in dancing, singing and clapping to music "from every era imaginable," according to the company's website.

Mayor Brad Stephens said the Rosemont location could be up to two stories tall and feature a rooftop bar. On the first floor, bars would be built on both sides of the main stage, and tables and chairs set up in-between. Finger foods would likely be available for purchase, he said.

The building would be constructed on an existing parking lot between the AMC Rosemont 18 movie theater and iFLY indoor sky diving facility - a space that village officials have been priming for development since 2016. At the time, they announced plans for a second location for Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market, which is in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, but that deal fell through after the owner walked away due to cost considerations.

Since then, Stephens said, he favored some type of entertainment use for the land to round out the park's night life offerings. The complex opened in 2012.

"This is it," Stephens said Wednesday. "This is the final piece."

Pete's will pay the village $10,000 a year in rent, with 10 percent increases proposed every five years, under terms of the 15-year agreement approved Wednesday. The deal comes with the option of eight 10-year extensions. The establishment will also have to pay the village $1 per square foot, per year for entertainment district promotional costs, and $2 per square foot, per year for the common area maintenance fund.

The village's lease is with Pete's; an operating partner will pay for the building's construction, Stephens said.

Pete's started as a one-man show on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas in 1992. It opened its second location in 2001 in the Dallas suburb of Addison, followed by bars in Fort Worth in 2004 and Houston in 2009. Stephens visited the newest location last week.

He expects the Rosemont bar to open by the spring or summer 2019.

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