Old Chicago staying put in Merrillville

Brian Bolek, left, of Portage, and his uncle Dan Bolek of Hobart watch the Chicago Blackhawks at Old Chicago in Merrillville.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom on U.S. 30 in Merrillville has lost a lot of its neighbors: the Star Plaza Theatre, the Radisson at Star Plaza, Denny's and Dairy Queen.

And the Twin Towers are now being demolished.

Merrillville-based hotel giant White Lodging has been tearing down 40-year-old buildings and buying up advance properties at the northwest corner of U.S. 30 and Interstate 65 in the hope of developing the $356 million The Farm at Crossroad Commons.

But the Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, located at 740 E. 81st Ave., doesn't plan to go anywhere. In fact, it's marking its 10th anniversary serving hand-crafted pizza and a wide array of craft beer.

“It’s great to be part of a community that really embraces Old Chicago,” said Dave Brown, vice president of operations at ROC Taproom. “From our Hall of Foam rewards members to families who stop in for dinner, we’re looking forward to many more years of serving Merrillville.”

ROC Taproom bought the Merrillville restaurant for an undisclosed sum earlier this year. Second-generation restaurateur Jeff Ruppel owns and operates seven Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom locations in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

For more information, visit www.oldchicago.com or call (219) 472-0616.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.