Rosemont piano bar has likely played its last song, officials say
Only open for a couple months before the pandemic struck, Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Rosemont's entertainment district likely won't reopen as a piano bar if or when things get back to normal, village officials said.
"They tried to reopen without piano players, but what the heck is a dueling piano bar without piano players?" said Mayor Brad Stephens.
Stephens said the entertainment venue was doing good business after its November 2019 opening, thanks to party and event bookings and a steady stream of nightly walk-in customers.
But after the COVID-19 related shutdown in March, the bar was never quite able to make it following a brief return in June for outdoor dining and limited indoor seating.
The typical nightly show of four performers rotating in and out on two baby grand pianos never returned, replaced by a DJ for a short time.
"It just didn't work," Stephens said.
Pete's, led by owners Corey Urbach and Greg Sacony partnering with Chicago bar owner Kevin Killerman, inked a 15-year lease deal with the village for space in Parkway Bank Park in 2018. Marc Offit of Braden Real Estate, also a partner in the development, is talking to other users to fill the 6,000-square-foot building, Stephens said.
But the mayor says he hasn't ruled out bringing back Pete's or another piano bar to Rosemont in the future.
The location marked Pete's first in the Midwest. Starting in 1992 as a one-man show on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, Pete's opened in the Dallas suburb of Addison in 2001, in Fort Worth in 2004 and Houston in 2009.
In a separate but related action, Rosemont village trustees last week approved a sale of the property on which the bar sits to Braden and the development partners for $225,000. Stephens said credit rating agencies prefer the village not be the landlord of everything within the 200,000-square-foot entertainment district.
So he says officials are open to selling parcels on the outer edges, while retaining those that border the open park space (home to summer concerts and winter ice skating). They're already in talks to sell the Harley-Davidson dealership property. The village does not own land on which the AMC movie theater, Big Ten Conference headquarters and Aloft hotel sit.