There’s more news out of Billy Dec’s camp — Rockit Bar & Grill in River North is going into hibernation. Dec’s flagship venue closed until spring for renovations. A rep for Dec’s company, Rockit Ranch Productions, reassures Chicagoans that Rockit will return. It’s another sign for change for Rockit which severed ties from chef Kevin Hickey and Duck Inn in October and closed Otto Mezzo, their new bar that lasted six months in River North. Dec also closed Bottlefork.
The move to renovate Rockit is more of a surprise because the bar went through a remodel in May 2015 to celebrate its 10th anniversary. It was closed for five months. The scope of the second set of renovations is unclear. When closing Otto Mezzo and Bottlefork, Dec’s camp said it was a move to focus on its bigger brands. Dec is spending more time in Nashville to launch a second location of Sunda, his pan-Asian restaurant that debuted in 2009 on Hubbard Street. The Nashville location should open this spring, according to a spokesperson.
The Rockit renovations align with Dec’s strategy — the company wants to grow its restaurants nationally, the spokesperson added. They want to tweak Rockit in River North to potentially prepare opening more Rockits across the country.
Rockit Burger Bar in Wrigleyville is closed for the winter, as the restaurant annually goes into slumber during the Cubs’ offseason. That leaves Sunda and The Underground as the only two Rockit Ranch locations presently open in Chicago.