ROCKFORD – When Deli Italia went dark early in the COVID-19 pandemic, locals envisioned it to reopen ultimately together with other institutions.
As it turned out, the longtime Italian eatery and bar at 505-507 E. Point out St. would keep shuttered, quietly having its place in Rockford’s business enterprise archives.
Owner Frank Calvanese, who ran two Deli Italia areas, made the decision to near the downtown deli and keep his procedure on North Key open. That choice paved the way for new entrepreneurs, regional husband and spouse group John Jones and Ky Rankin, to rebrand the notable area into an enclave for musicians, comedians and visual artists to showcase their skills and a easy spot for a swift beer, and a chunk.
“We want to be long term users of the Rockford artwork scene,” mentioned Jones, who fronts nearby band Hilly Jones and tended bar for Calvanese.
Rankin is also a performer, recently cast in the West Facet Showroom’s “Peter and the Starcatcher,” and regularly performs theatrical phases in Chicago and Rockford. Bringing their talents with each other in a bar and restaurant enterprise has been a results for the pair considering the fact that they opened in mid-October.
J&K Lounge hosts weekly comedy exhibits, karaoke, open up-stages evenings, and are living songs for all ages. The location caters to all kinds of new music, partly since Rankin and Jones are into unique genres and due to the fact they want to entice a varied crowd. J&K is not an eatery, dance club, rock venue or a blues bar. It’s kind of all all those issues.
“It’s a put exactly where the punk rock male sits upcoming to the gay dude, who’s sitting down upcoming to a law firm,” Jones explained.
Work by area artists dons the lounge’s partitions, most of which is for sale. A sofa sits in the front window, the region of the home that has a café truly feel. There are places to engage in board online games, pool, and video video games, every single in just viewing length from the stage.
“There’s surely a various vibe in listed here,” Rankin claimed. “Everybody receives together and just would like to chill. Which is my favorite matter. We want everybody to have an outlet listed here. We want everybody to truly feel welcome and everyone to feel safe, and just lounge.”
Rankin explained the lounge will host solid and ensemble parties for neighborhood theater groups, fundraisers, and other artwork-linked occasions.
J&K Lounge is open up 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays. The foodstuff menu features sandwiches, wraps, soup, paninis and pizza.
The lounge can be discovered on Facebook and arrived at by mobile phone at 779-210-7154.
Jim Hagerty is a freelance correspondent.