From pretzels to Polynesia: New Rosemont tiki bar completes conversion of old German beer hall
With a fair share of rattan decor and a cocktail menu that boasts some 30 varieties of rum, dozens of fresh juices and ingredients, and more than 50 colorful cocktails, owners of a new tiki bar in Rosemont aim to transport guests to an island oasis in the South Seas.
Pete's Tiki Tiki is now open in a small portion of the old Hofbräuhaus Chicago at the Parkway Bank Park entertainment district. The bar's soft opening in July -- ahead of a big grand opening event at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17 -- completes the conversion of the former cavernous German beer hall into three new, separate spaces. The tiki bar's sister venue, Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, played its first note in April, and Crust, a craft pizza restaurant and brewery, served its first slice in February.
"We recognized how important the Chicago market is to us, and we knew that our tiki bar would perfectly compliment not only Pete's Dueling Piano Bar but also the other terrific entertainment options in Parkway Bank Park," said Kevin Killerman, who is managing partner and owner with developer Marc Offit of Northfield-based Braden Real Estate, and Corey Urbach and Greg Sacony of the Texas-based piano bar.
While that partnership runs the 1,800-square-foot tiki bar and 5,800-square-foot piano bar, father-and-son businessmen Joe and Mike Matuschka -- the former Hofbräuhaus operators -- manage the 13,400-square-foot pizzeria and bar.
Killerman, a longtime Chicago bar owner, believes tiki bars are seeing a resurgence, and the bustling entertainment park in Rosemont is the right spot for the concept.
Bartenders dressed in Hawaiian shirts make classic drinks from scratch, like the Mai Tai, Zombie and Planter's Punch, and serve them in festive glassware. Then there's the "Fish Are Friends" -- served with dry ice out of a shark's mouth (intended for sharing).
Between seats at the bar and tables that resemble surfboards, there's room for 50 people inside, in addition to a patio with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs under an expansive thatched roof that can fit another 200.
The bar, at 5510 Park Place, opens nightly at 5 p.m.