DeKALB – The new owners of Starbusters Bar & Grill in DeKalb are looking to cater to new customers and plan to change the bar’s name to Rosy’s Roadhouse.
Owner Brendan Fitzharris said the bar will remain open as it begins to transform. Fitzharris said the plan is to install new sound and lighting systems for the stage. He added that they will overhaul the bar’s kitchen and bathrooms.
“We’re not tearing anything down,” he said. “We’re just fixing everything up.”
Construction is planned for the summer, but the bar will keep the Starbusters name until Northern Illinois University students leave, Fitzharris said.
Rosy’s Roadhouse will be co-owned by Fitzharris, Joe Chavez and the bar’s namesake, Rosy Amodio. Both Chavez and Amodio work at Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst, another bar owned by Fitzharris. Fitzharris also owns Fitz’s Pub in Elmhurst and Fitz’s Irish Bulldog in Villa Park.
“We liked the sound of it,” Fitzharris said of the name.
Fitzharris hopes to cater to both the student and local crowds, and he plans to do so by offering a dinner menu with daily specials. He said with the help of Chavez, Rosy’s Roadhouse will feature more live music on a regular basis, as well as install more TVs so people can watch sports.
“To me, it seems like there’s only a few name bars out in DeKalb,” Fitzharris said. “We want to be one of them.”
Roger Hopkins, the economic development consultant for DeKalb, noted that the owners of Rosy’s Roadhouse are attempting to replicate the success Molly’s Eatery and Drinkery experienced when it reopened in 2011.
“They can find a good, new following with remodeling,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins says he believes there is enough room in DeKalb for another bar, and he is happy to see people invest in DeKalb.
“Those are the kinds of investments, even though there’s a perception of a party mentality, they show a confidence in the neighborhood,” Hopkins said.
Fitzharris said Rosy’s Roadhouse will be open as Starbusters on Saturday, and they will have a grand opening in August. The cover band, Mike and Joe, is already scheduled to perform Oct. 12 at Rosy’s Roadhouse.