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River Rockhouse closed for now, to reopen with restaurant focus

Published: Monday, July 29, 2013 5:42 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:53 a.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – A  little over a year since changing its name to reflect a new musical direction, a downtown St. Charles club will alter course yet again.

The River Rockhouse, 106 S. Riverside Ave., has closed temporarily, the family that owns the building and the business confirmed Monday. They said the restaurant portion of the business will reopen "in a week or two."

The club announced the news first on Facebook, indicating it would reopen soon under "new management."

Aaron Turner, part of the family business, said the River Rockhouse had struggled to draw enough patrons to the club to take in its live musical acts to justify continuing to operate the venue.

"The current management was not doing a good job getting people in the door to see the bands," Turner said.

The club had formerly operated as Chord on Blues when it first opened in 1996. But last spring, the owners opted to take the club a different direction, changing the name to the River Rockhouse to reflect a different variety of musical acts, including cover bands, original rock n roll and indie bands.

The club also featured comedy acts.

However, the River Rockhouse had been losing money for some time, Turner said, prompting ownership to shut down the music venue, for now.

"It makes it hard to pay the bands," he said.

He said the owners are bringing in a new management group to operate the business with a renewed focus on its restaurant and outdoor patio with live acoustic entertainment.

He declined to identify the prospective new management, saying negotiations are ongoing.

Turner said the River Rockhouse again could host live bands on its club stage. But he said that would not happen until the owners could "heal our wounds."

He indicated the owners would be open to selling the live music venue portion of the business to a different group "who wants to run it as something different."

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