Another verse for Rosemont piano bar, which is returning after pandemic-forced closure

  • Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, which opened in Rosemont's entertainment district in 2019 before closing a year later due to the pandemic, is set to reopen in a new, larger location down the road next week.

    Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, which opened in Rosemont's entertainment district in 2019 before closing a year later due to the pandemic, is set to reopen in a new, larger location down the road next week. Courtesy of Kyle Flubacker

 
 
Updated 3/23/2022 6:22 AM

A dueling piano bar that closed at the onset of the pandemic in Rosemont's entertainment district is set to make its encore in a nearby, slightly larger location next week.

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar will open its new 5,800-square-foot location Friday, April 1, inside a portion of the former 20,000-square-foot Hofbräuhaus Chicago, officials announced Tuesday.

 

The first iteration of the piano bar opened to much fanfare at Parkway Bank Park in November 2019, but closed the following March amid the initial state stay-at-home orders. It briefly reopened for outdoor dining and limited indoor seating that summer, but by fall, village officials announced the bar likely wouldn't be coming back -- at least in its original 4,800-square-foot home.

That site was converted into the Verilife recreational marijuana dispensary, which is leasing the brick building from a development partnership led by Braden Real Estate Chairman/CEO Marc Offit and Chicago bar owner Kevin Killerman.

That's the same team involved in the new Pete's just down the ring road.

Mayor Brad Stephens, who never ruled out the return of Pete's to the once-bustling entertainment district, is confident the piano bar can reprise its initial pre-pandemic success.

"We think it's going to be well-received," Stephens said.

Pete's is sharing the former German beer hall, now subdivided and renovated, with two neighbors: Crust, a 13,400-square-foot craft pizza restaurant and brewery that opened last month, and Tiki Tiki, a 1,800-square-foot bar nearing completion at the end of this month.

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Father-and-son businessmen Joe and Mike Matuschka -- the former Hofbräuhaus operators -- are managing the former, and Offit and Killerman are managing the latter, with Pete's owners Corey Urbach and Greg Sacony.

Rising costs and shrinking profits at the cavernous beer hall led the father-and-son team to retool and introduce the pizza and craft beer concept. Though the restaurant is separated from the other venues, Crust pizza will be available to order at all three, officials said.

And while the piano bar will only be open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, the tiki bar will be open daily to keep the bartenders working and provide a continuous source of revenue, Stephens said.

While the Matuschkas inked a $2.165 million purchase of the Crust portion of the building from the village nearly a year ago, a pending $1.148 million sale of the rest of the site to Offit and Killerman is scheduled to close soon.

Uncertainty over the pandemic and possible further state-imposed restrictions prompted the proprietors to delay the deal, but they have since been able to secure financing, Stephens said.

The Rosemont piano bar marks the fifth Pete's location, but first outside of Texas after its initial opening in Austin 30 years ago this July.

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