Starbusters to be replaced


Starbusters sits vacant prior to the construction of Rosy’s Roadhouse, a newly opened bar and restaurant.

By Jessi Haish

Starbusters has officially gone bust.

Rosy’s Roadhouse will take over what was once known as Starbusters, 930 Pappas Drive, effective May 1.

“The last few years has not been as popular for Starbusters,” said Brendan Fitzharris, one of the owners of the soon-to-be Rosy’s Roadhouse. “We are going to bring it back.”

Fitzharris said Starbusters’ previous owner contacted him about a possible purchase. Fitzharris already owns three bars: Fitz’s Pub and Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst and Fitz’s Irish Bulldog in Villa Park. Fitzharris said he turned each location around and improved them after purchase.

“I’m excited about giving it a new facelift so people can have fun in there again,” Fitzharris said. “We’re going to make it a different place.”

Joe Chavez, another owner of Rosy’s, said some of the main initiatives include cleaning up the parking lot and landscaping and putting up a new sign. On the inside, the owners will paint, redo the bathrooms and the kitchen and install better lighting. The sound system will also be improved, Chavez said.

“We want the best possible sound,” Chavez said.

Plans also include creating a full menu, which will include the “soon to be famous” Roadhouse burger, Chavez said.

Fitzharris and Chavez have almost 25 years of experience in the bar business between them.

Rosy Amodio, the namesake of the new bar, will be an owner, as well. Chavez said the group was trying to think of a name that would create a “party bar atmosphere,” and since Amodio will be the general manager and at the location the most often of the three, the name clicked. Amodio currently works with Chavez at Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst.

Chavez said the Starbuster’s location near campus and Greek Row makes the area a great spot to open up.

Chavez said Rosy’s will definitely be a college bar, but it will appeal to “anybody and everybody.”

First ward alderman David Jacobson, whose ward includes Greek Row and is situated near Starbusters, called the plan a great idea for the student market. Jacobson compared the changes to those of Molly’s Eatery & Drinkery, 1000 W. Lincoln Highway, which moved locations in 2011.

“They [Molly’s] saw positive results quickly,” Jacobson said. “I would hope that they [Rosy’s] follow through all the way with their plans.”

Mayor Kris Povlsen said he was pleased there was a purchaser of the location instead of the spot being closed down.

“I think it says that we are still a very vibrant community,” Povlsen said.

Povlsen is also hopeful the new business has a prosperous future.

An opening party will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Starbusters. DJ Mach 1 from Kiss FM Chicago will provide the music. There will be no cover for the event.

Chavez said the transformation will take place over June, July and August and will be ready before school starts for the fall semester; however, Starbusters will keep its name until the end of this spring semester.

Chavez said the team plans to have several grand openings for Rosy’s in August and September and already has plans for homecoming. Musicians Mike and Joe have been scheduled for Oct. 12.

“We’re trying to combine good pub food and great live music,” Fitzharris said.

Fitzharris hopes to host occasional live music in the parking lot if the city approves.

“We saw it [the purchase] as an opportunity and decided to pursue it,” Chavez said.