As you may know, we have been in the Rockford area for the past two weeks exploring downtown and chatting with the phenomenal business owners. They have so much love for Rockford, which I fully understand since I grew up in the Rockford community as well! There is so much to love and appreciate from the cutest shops to the yummy food.
There is a lovely charm and sense of community downtown brings. Whether that be from the events or even just the random pedestrian stopping you to chat about life.
The town holds tradition to many families with a modern twist.
This brings us to our Small Business Spotlight – The Corner Bar. Which, in my opinion, holds so much tradition. And with the recent remodel (which we will get back to) they’ve brought a modern twist to this beloved classic.
The Corner Bar is well known for its Wall of Fame which started in 1968! The challenge is to eat, at minimum, 12 hot dogs including dog, bun, and chili. You can choose to put more toppings, but I would suggest you not if you want to get anywhere near the record of 43 dogs. There are nearly 6000 names on the wall from all over the world with new contestants being added regularly, because who wouldn’t want to be part of this history?!
While they are known for their hot dogs, The Corner Bar also offers a variety of other delicious foods including their Turkey Pretzel Club. This sandwich consists of turkey, bacon, and swiss on a warm pretzel roll with honey mustard for dipping! I personally cannot resist pretzels of any sorts and this sandwich is on my list of things to try when heading back to town.
Now we get back to the recent remodel: As I am sure some of you know, The Corner Bar experienced a tragic fire in August of 2017. Unfortunately, this left a huge project for them to rebuild and redesign much of the restaurant. Although this was an intensely sad thing to happen to our beloved Corner Bar, the community in Rockford brought about so much hope and love.
Local businesses held fundraisers bringing in money to The Corner Bar and also for their staff members who lost jobs out of the blue. There were even some businesses that made room to bring in some of the staff as the rebuild was in action so that they had a source of income during this rough time.
The Corner Bar stated that the support during AND after the fire was truly awe-inspiring. They were given so many words of encouragement, grief, love, and stories shared that day and in weeks to follow. During a tragic time, the community gave back in actions and in words to create an environment that would help build up morale as they built back the building.
We love The Corner Bar, thanks for having us!