Eight months after a kitchen fire gutted the bar/restaurant, East Lakeview whiskey-and-burger powerhouse Rocks Lakeview has re-opened. The blaze, which started in the kitchen during dinner service on February 15, resulted in extensive roof and interior damage, according to owners George Manta and Tim Shepardson. No one was hurt, despite a packed house at the time of the fire.
“Water and smoke gets everywhere, and into everything,” Manta said.
The spot opened in 2008, with expansions in 2010 and 2014. The owners also operate Rocks Northcenter at 4138 N. Lincoln Avenue. After the fire, that only thing that was salvageable was the physical bar, the floors, walls and the bathrooms. Manta was also able to heroically grab the 50 or so Polaroids of the bar’s “RockStar Burger challenge” winners that grace its wall. Manta said “the place was still smoldering,” when he went into save the photos. This hall of fame commemorates the brave souls who consumed the Rock’ quadruple-decker, 4-pound burger with all the toppings and an order of fries within 30 minutes.
Manta and Shepardson saw the fire as an opportunity to tweak the space and the menu They added reclaimed wood (sourced from a house in Evanston), communal seating, and installed acoustic ceiling tiles to modulate the ambient sound of the space.
When customers visit they can try a new beer. It’s a collaboration with Chicago’s Around the Bend Beer called “Orange You Glad” — a blood orange IPA. Rocks ownership took the eight-month break as a silver lining to improve the space. Check out those changes today.
Rocks Lakeview, 3463 N. Broadway Aveune, (773) 472-0493, open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday.