Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury recently announced that the developers at Stony Creek Promenade had secured deals with two new restaurants, Rock and Brews and The Barrel Club.
Rock and Brews is a California based restaurant chain affiliated with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band KISS, which rose to stardom in the mid and late 1970’s. The Oak Lawn restaurant would be the first in Illinois, where the company plans to open 15 or 20 more locations. The company already has 20 locations in eight states and Mexico.
Bury’s announcement was quickly followed by interviews with other media outlets in which she publicized the fact that the members of KISS are behind the Rock and Brews restaurant. Rock and Brews also provides a fully functional website (www.rockandbrews.com). The website provides a background of the restaurant, the history, and the executive team operating the restaurant company. Bury did not say whether the Oak Lawn location is a franchise or a corporate operation although the website provides “franchising opportunities”.
The Mayor’s announcement and any publicity in other publications failed to disclose who owns the Barrel Club, which Bury said is owned by “local investors”. According to sources within the village, the names of the investors, who will probably receive “incentives” for opening in Oak Lawn, have not been disclosed to the public or even the Board of Trustees.
Bury’s announcement claims that the Barrel Club will have “fine steaks, chops and comfort food and feature quality spirits, beers, and wines.” The website provided in Bury’s announcement (www.barrelclubillinois.com) lacks much information with the entire website contained on only one page that states:
The Barrel Club is will be coming to Southside in February 2019! We will be serving up some of the highest quality steaks and prime rib in the area paired with our house-distilled whiskey. Whiskey is more than just a drink, it’s a culture and we welcome any and all whiskey lovers in the Chicago area to come check us out!
The website does not disclose who the owners are or whether they have any connection to current board members or Mayor Sandra Bury. The secretary of State’s website does not have a corporation with the name “The Barrel Club” or “Barrel Club”. The development has previously come under criticism for increasing the village’s debt and for providing sweetheart deals to the developer at the expense of the taxpayers.