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Inside Rockit’s River North Revamp, Reopening Today Without Billy Dec

Owner Brad Young feels it needs a return to basics

Rockit Bar & Grill is back.
Barry Brecheisen

Rockit Bar & Grill’s owners are trying to reinvent itself once more, this time without Billy Dec. Dec split from business partner Brad Young, leaving Young the original Hubbard Street bar/restaurant. It’s been closed since January and officially reopens today. It’s Rockit’s second facelift in three years.

Young, who along with Dec and Arturo Gomez, grew the Rockit brand into a successful hospitality empire along with the Underground nightclub and Sunda. They invested into Rockit by bringing in top-level chefs, but that didn’t work. Young admitted they stumbled and got away from the bar’s “original DNA.” So they brought back the pool tables and are adding shuffleboards, vintage motorbikes as props, and live music. Items like Buffalo chicken mac and cheese and “Rockit Pockits” have returned. Lunch service will return this fall.

“Now we want to get back to the neighborhood bar and grill that people come to for lunch,” Young said.

Young loved Rockit’s music, and his staff also painted over the black walls and covered them with concert posters. It’s a mix of “dad rock” with bands like Motorhead, Rush, and the Misfits. While those bands aren’t on Lollapalooza’s lineup, management’s convinced festival crowds will find their way to Hubbard Street over the weekend.

Take a look around the new Rockit below and compare it to the last relaunch. Rockit reopens at 4 p.m. today with a performance by the Orwells.

Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard Street, hours not posted yet.

It’s more colorful compared to the previous iteration.
Nostalgia on the walls.
Rockit really likes Stairway to Heaven.
The ceiling lights are new.
The bar remains the same.
They’ve managed to paint on the walls and add games.
Pool has returned.
The corner lounge.
A Harley for a prop is Insta-ready.
A rueben.
Gooey and cheesy.
An appetizer combo.
Burger time.
With a cherry on top.
Find some friends and share this drink.

Rockit Bar & Grill

22 W Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654 312 645 6000 Visit Website

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