Unpaid debt will finally force Toby Keith's I Love This Bar to close in Rosemont, but city officials don't seem too heartbroken. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will take over the space, a spokeswoman confirms, but she couldn't divulge what concept they will bring to the suburbs. The Daily Herald reports that another country music-inspired barbecue venue, Bub City, a joint venture between LEYE and Joe's on Weed, will move into the space at MB Financial Park this spring.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar faced an eviction hearing where a judge could order its closure on Saturday. Settling debts aren't strong suits for the bar's owners, who have a history of unpaid debt. They paid the country star a licensing fee, as Keith's not involved in the operations. Furthering ownership's reputation, The Daily Herald uncovered this ripe nugget: Phoenix-based Boomtown Entertainment wrote a check to the general manager of its Rosemont restaurant from a closed a bank account. Boomtown owes more than $300,000 in back taxes to Cook County, the newspaper also reported.
LEYE said they're in the "early planning stages," but will release more information when they can. They did not confirm what will move in, but the Rosemont partnership sounds very similar to what would be the third iteration of Bub City. There's the original, long-shuttered location on Weed Street; then there's the River North revival, known for smoked meats, whiskey and country bands.
Seeing Bub City's booming popularity in River North, LEYE and Joe's should bring a similar feel and revive the troubled space near O'Hare. Get ready, Rosemont.