ST. CHARLES – Sports reporter and former NFL running back Jarrett Payton is already referring to the newly opened Flagship on the Fox in St. Charles as his second home.
Payton, son of the late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, is a partner in the Flagship on the Fox high-end sports bar, which opened its doors June 14 at 100 S. Riverside Drive in the northern half of the building that formerly housed Chord on Blues.
He also moved to the St. Charles area in the past year.
"It's so awesome to be able to open it up to each and every one of you," Jarrett Payton said during a St. Charles Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony June 27. "I told the mayor, we're not leaving. We have put down roots. This is an opportunity for me to be able to leave the legacy I want to leave here in St. Charles."
Flagship on the Fox has 32 televisions, ensuring that sports fans will have the chance to watch a wide variety of programming. It will offer entertainment, including DJs, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
During the ceremony, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina welcomed Flagship to the community.
"We, as a city, are just beaming," Rogina said.
Frontier Development, comprised of father and son Curt and Conrad Hurst, recently purchased the building that houses Flagship. Pollyanna Brewing Company plans to open later this year in the southern half of the structure.
Flagship on the Fox owner Steve Mayer complimented the new landlord.
"I've had a lot of building owners and I've never had building owners like this, so I'm hoping they buy up the city," he said.
Mayer said Flagship on the Fox plans to be very community oriented, including hiring those in the area who have autism or Down syndrome.
"We're very proud of what we are doing here," he said. "We're more than a bar."
Mayer also co-owns Flagship Tavern and Grill on Belmont Avenue in Chicago. He has roots in St. Charles.
He grew up in central Illinois, but was raised in the area by his sister and brother-in-law after his parents died. Mayer is a 1997 graduate of St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin.
His sister and brother-in-law still live in St. Charles. Mayer became a resident of the city earlier this year.
Architect and St. Charles District 303 Board Vice President Nick Manheim designed Flagship on the Fox, which features such elements as glass garage doors that open during good weather.
"I think it turned out great," Manheim said after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "To me, the best part of this was designing something in my community. My firm is here and I raise my kids here. I do projects all over Chicagoland, but to me, this is the one that I am most proud of because it's right here."
In designing the restaurant, Manheim said the vision was to "bring that kind of Chicago feel to St. Charles, with the garage doors and the vibe. It was something St. Charles needed and didn't have."