Walking into Hofbrauhaus Chicago (actually in Rosemont) is like teleporting to Europe. The German restaurant/microbrewery is highlighted by giant kettles of beer, Bavarian décor, an alphorn (those long horns from the ricolo commercials), and folks dressed in traditional Oktoberfest clothes. Here the alcohol flows freely with shots served on a wooden paddle they’ll smack your butt with upon request. Having already gotten whupped by the $15 parking fee, I decided to skip the additional beating an opt for a glass of water instead. I do love a good novelty restaurant though this wasn’t the sort of place I’d have ever visited if not for the annual Roe Conn Halloween show. This was my third year attending the occasion with the last two having taken place in the south suburbs where I live. After an hour’s drive I brushed past their gift shop (loaded with collectible steins) and took a seat as close to the stage as I could get. The room was huge with rows of long tables and I tried taking in as much as I could while the waitress handed me a menu.
I left work early last Thursday to attend the Roe Conn Halloween show in Frankfurt, Illinois. For those unaware, Conn is a well known, Chicago-based talk-radio personality who’s hosted national shows for over two decades. Although I’ve been familiar with his voice since back in his “Roe & Gary” days, I saw him for the first time at last year’s Halloween show which was at the same venue, CD & Me. Of course my attendance was based on the return of their special guest, Svengoolie, whom I hadn’t seen in almost a FULL week since Elgin’s Nightmare on Chicago Street. Talk about a dry spell! If only I could figure out a way to declare all my Sven-chasing gas mileage at tax time.
Photo by Jim Roche
During a recent Svengoolie appearance I covered at Pinball Life, I mentioned that one of the benefits of stalking the national commercial TV horror host was being introduced to new venues and activities I’d of never experienced otherwise. Attending the Roe Conn Halloween special on Thursday October 29th was a prime example! For those lucky enough to gain access, you’d be treated to a live taping of WGN’s Roe Conn Show at a beautiful suburban venue. But first one had to apply for a ticket.
About a month before the big day I logged on to the WGN Radio site to apply for a pass. Although they were free, they were granted on a random and limited basis making it the luck of the draw. After a few weeks of silence I assumed it wasn’t meant to be until just days before the event when I finally received word I’d been chosen. Along with acceptance came instructions on where and when it would take place and what to do once I got there.