Bill Murray and his brothers have scheduled a mid-April tee time to launch their new "Caddyshack"-inspired sports bar in Rosemont, officials said Tuesday.
Their plans to open the Murray Bros. Caddyshack bar/restaurant at 9546 Balmoral Ave., across the street from the Rosemont Theatre, took a swing forward Tuesday with the initial approval of signage by the village's zoning board of appeals. The village board will take a final vote Feb. 14.
Interior construction work is underway for the one-story, 8,600-square-foot eatery on the west side of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare hotel, where the Murrays are leasing space. The Murrays already have a general manager and head chef, while hiring continues for other positions.
Andy Murray, who has helped run and cook at the family's first "Caddyshack" sports bar at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, said Tuesday the menu will feature specialty items like crispy potato golf balls, and general American fare like burgers, steaks and salads.
But he says he doesn't plan to do much of the cooking.
"I'm too old to stand behind a grill," he quipped.
After opening the Florida restaurant in 2001, Murray said the family had been eyeing a Chicago-area location for some time, having considered Wrigleyville and Navy Pier. Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens encouraged Andy Murray to look at Rosemont, after meeting him at a convention.
"We wanted to come back to Chicago," Murray said.
It was the experiences of the six Murray brothers, who grew up in nearby Wilmette and caddied at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, that inspired Brian Doyle-Murray to write the script for "Caddyshack." The 1980 classic comedy features Bill Murray as gopher-hunting greenskeeper Carl Spackler.
The new restaurant will include a bar with 32 TVs, seating for 237, a fireplace, and retail area that will sell "Caddyshack"-themed items, including hats, T-shirts and gopher stuffed animals. The restaurant won't include a golf simulator as originally planned, but it will have the Golden Tee video game.
The walls will be decorated with elements of the movie, the Murray family and Chicago sports.
"The brand is about the Murrays as much as it is about 'Caddyshack,'" said Mac Haskell, the bar's co-founder and CEO.
Work crews have gutted the hotel's former banquet center, which will become the new sports bar. It once was home to At The Hop, a 1950s- and 1960s-themed dance club, and later Rickenbacker's Night Club.
Village officials said the sports bar and its kitchen are in a different part of the hotel than the basement hotel freezer where 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in September 2017.