High end sports bar planned for portion of former Chord on Blues building

Flagship on the Fox plans to open in spring

ST. CHARLES – A new high end sports bar called Flagship on the Fox plans to locate in part of a building on South Riverside Avenue in downtown St. Charles that previously housed Prime Bistro as well as River Rockhouse and Chord on Blues.

Owner Steve Mayer, who is originally from St. Charles, also co-owns Flagship Tavern & Grill on Belmont Avenue in Chicago. The building on South Riverside Avenue has housed several businesses over the years, most recently Prime Bistro, which closed in 2014. The building also had been home to Chord on Blues and River Rockhouse in recent years.

Mayer is seeking approval for a new class B1 liquor license, including a 2:00 a.m. late night permit. At their Jan. 22 meeting, the City Council's Liquor Control Commission and Government Operations Committee both unanimously recommended approval of the request. The full City Council is set to vote on the request at its Feb. 4 meeting.

As proposed, Flagship on the Fox would be located in the northern half of the building and a music venue would go into the building's southern half, where River Rockhouse and Chord on Blues were previously located. Building owner Frontier Development, LLC. is subdividing the property.

"In the southern half, they're going to do a music venue, because it's still set up that way," Mayer said. "They're getting closer to getting their tenant in and they are looking to open like June or July."

Mayer said he has plans to use the building's outdoor space, which faces the Fox River, year-round. Work will be done on the building both inside and out.

"The outdoor space is probably the first thing that caught my eye," he said. "We have talked about enclosing the outdoor space with glass garage doors that open up. We're just going to make it really funky and fun. We're going to have bar shuffleboard out there and a very different seating arrangement. The new rage right now are these swing chairs."

Flagship on the Fox would be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Sundays. The restaurant's menu would include such items as a grilled BBQ salmon sandwich, pepper crusted hanger steak and a variety of burgers. The menu would also include appetizers, soups, salads and wraps.

Flagship places a premium on freshness.

"We try to really not bring in any frozen products," Mayer said. 'We don't like to use our freezer. We like to use fresh. We create most of our sauces. Even our chicken tenders, we don't bring in a chicken tender that's already made, we hand cut our chicken tenders from a breast and roll them into buttermilk and do all that stuff. And our burgers I would put on par with anybody's. We've won numerous burger contests in Chicago with our Flagship burger. I'm very confident in our menu and I think people out here will like it."

The establishment will also offer a wide array of television sets so sports fans can get their fill.

"We have 42 TVs going in there, ranging from I think 55 inches all the way up to 82 inches," Mayer said. "If you sit down during NCAA tournament time or NFL Sunday football, you can watch every game."

Plans are to open in the spring.

"I hope to open in April, but if there is any chance we can open up for St. Patrick's Day and for March Madness, we want to be open for that," he said. "We're going to push as hard as we can to do that."

One of partners in the new venture include sports reporter Jarrett Payton, the son of the late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.

"Jarrett just moved to Campton Hills and he's a good friend of mine," Mayer said. "We have a great team."