[Ron Onesti is shown at his Club Arcada 1920s Speakeasy and Showroom.]
Renee Tomell: What type of shows are you bringing to the resort's stage, and what's the reception been like?
Onesti: People are responding tremendously. We're doing family-friendly affordable shows there – all different options [as well as] theatrical musicals. I pride myself on being able to provide a variety of entertainment. [We're] fostering another neighborhood icon – proud to be a part of it.
Tomell: What prompted you to create the Chicago Music Hall of Fame?
Onesti: It's a tribute to those who had something to do with making Chicago as important [in] national popular music and as influential as anywhere – Nashville, Beale Street in Memphis, New York, New Orleans. Chicago is definitely the unsung hero of the music industry.
Tomell: The Hall of Fame will occupy the second floor; are you adding other attractions to the four-story building?
Onesti: Each floor will have an entertainment aspect to it [and a] beautiful view of the Chicago skyline. There will be … performance venues on each floor [and the rooftop]. The basement level was designed as a theater.
Tomell: Will there be inductions?
Onesti: It's not going to be the typical Hall of Fame, where you're inducting a group every year. We're opening with up to … 700 – everybody who makes sense: [stars], sidemen, local legends, producers … authors … some teachers.