Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster: From IN Business

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster

Charlie’s Ale House in Munster is expected to close later this month while it goes through a change in ownership.

A spokesman for the new owners says the new restaurant at the site will attract families and hockey enthusiasts around the Chicago area. Former Chicago Blackhawks player and coach Denis Savard and Nicholas Sord, the son of Chicago-area restaurant owner Bryan Sord, are planning to co-own Savard’s Hall of Fame. Bryan Sord said Charlie’s will close Dec. 23 and the venue will reopen in late January as a sports-themed family restaurant and sports bar. The owners’ goal is to officially take over site ownership Jan. 1, he said.“There’s so many hockey fans on the south side of Chicago,” Sord said. “Instead of going into Chicago, we want to attract everybody from Indiana to the southern suburbs of Illinois who enjoy hockey who live here. That’s our main objective.”

Mark Corey, Munster’s chief building inspector, said in the next few weeks the building department will look over the plans for the establishment and figure out what permits and licenses the new ownership needs. Corey said the group plans to change signage and remodel the building’s interior. Sord said the Munster site purchase doesn’t include Charlie’s Chicago locations at Navy Pier and in the Andersonville neighborhood. Tim Rasmussen of Chicago Restaurant Corp. opened the Charlie’s in Munster in spring 2004. Rasmussen couldn’t be reached at his Chicago office Monday afternoon The menu at Savard’s will include fare from Sord’s Charley Horse restaurants and steaks from 94 West in Orland Park. Sord owns Charley Horse restaurants in New Lenox and Tinley Park and 94 West. Sandwiches will be priced from about $7 to $10 with half-priced hamburgers on Mondays.

Similar to Charlie’s, the establishment will continue to host banquets and parties and have a Sunday brunch, Sord said. He also said Savard’s plans to employ about 125 people, which is more than the establishment’s current staff. The restaurant will feature an ice bar and hockey memorabilia such as Savard’s jersey from when the Montreal Canadiens team won the Stanley Cup in 1993. Savard played nearly 1,200 games for the Chicago Blackhawks, Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning in 18 seasons. Savard was the Blackhawks head coach for parts of three seasons from 2006 to 2008. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Sord said Savard is excited to open an establishment in the region and that he would welcome the opportunity to meet players from the Munster Hockey Club, who were state Class 1A high school champions earlier this year.