welcome to ROOSEVELT ROAD - THE VELTWAY -
Berwyn’s Roosevelt Road is an entertainment and dining destination with nationally known live music venues like FitzGerald’s Nightclub and Wire and juke-joints serving up everything from country and rock to jazz and blues. Dine no matter what you’re craving from Michelin-rated to hometown eats.
Roosevelt Road, Berwyn’s Broadway
In May 1919, the road formerly known as 12th Street was renamed Roosevelt Road in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. During the 1920’s, Berwyn was the fastest-growing Chicago suburb. The Ritz movie palace solidified Roosevelt Road in Berwyn Illinois as a premier entertainment destination.
To this day, Roosevelt Road retains this reputation as an entertainment hub in Berwyn and Illinois. Each venue along this walkable block offers something unique, drawing in visitors and locals alike. Berwyn residents affectionately refer to the corridor as The Veltway, a place showcasing the true spirit of the community.
Live Music and More
FitzGerald’s Nightclub & Sidebar is TripAdvisor’s #1 place to visit in Berwyn, and for good reason. The legendary music venue – once a Bohemian hunting lodge – has been in its current form since the 80’s, with a transfer of ownership from the FitzGerald family just last year to Will Duncan. FitzGerald’s Nightclub & Sidebar is known for its relaxed vibe and rich musical variety, patrons enjoy room to dance and plenty of table seating with much easier parking than downtown venues. With their latest addition of BABYGOLD BARBECUE adjacent to Fitzgerald’s, visitors can enjoy a handpicked menu developed by beloved Chicago chef and Berwyn resident, Chef John Manion.
The Friendly Tap, an appropriately named watering hole that opened in 1937, also hosts live music. In recent years it has evolved into a multi-pronged offering of music, school, coffee, and bar. The Friendly Tap, Friendly Coffee Lounge, and Friendly School of Folk Music offer an all-day, family-friendly gathering space known as the Friendly Music Community.
Four local music professionals came together in 2013 to open The Wire, a much-anticipated newcomer to the Berwyn music scene. Beyond performances, The Wire is a center for music innovation and education, offering recording studios and instructional classes. During shows, an extensive beer menu highlights local craft breweries, and a knowledgeable staff is known for spinning up creative cocktails. Every detail from the acoustics to the lighting to the site lines to the stage creates a state-of-the-art music experience space and phenomenal guest experience. Beyond live music, the 16th Street Theater is a critically-acclaimed option for live performances from some of the area’s best playwrights.
Before or After the Show
For an experience rivaling the best restaurants in Chicago with a wonderfully relaxed, neighborhood feel, Autre Monde Café & Spirits is a must. From a chef’s tasting menu to a phenomenal brunch, an exciting seasonal menu of creative farm-to-table Mediterranean fare shines from this scratch kitchen.
For seriously delicious street-style Thai fare, look no further than Bodhi Thai Bistro. An expansive menu includes vegetarian and vegan options galore.
Consider Travy’s Tavern as one of your stops along Roosevelt Road for a night cap or to enjoy a Saturday night full of karaoke, friends, and a cold brew.
Quick Bites, Day or Night
Premier dining destinations make for a great date night. After a long night of music, or for a convenient lunchtime option, Roosevelt Road has you covered.
By listening to customers and developing a robust menu with homemade sausages, fresh ground burgers, ribs, gumbo, and delightful dipping sauces, Big Guys Sausage Stand earns awards and loyal diners. Known for making food filled with flavor and love and called deliciously creative by fans, file away that Big Guys also offers catering for events.
Italian beef lovers all over Chicagoland know Buona Restaurant. In 1981 the Buonavolanto family brought the Chicagoland favorite, Italian beef, to the suburbs. Berwyn is the proud headquarters of this much-loved provider of hearty food.
DiNico’s Pizza & Gelato offers 24 access to pizza for any daytime or late-night cravings. Customers rave about their stadium pizza, great for a crowd.
Be sure to make a stop at Culver’s along Roosevelt Rd for a quick bite of their delicious butter burgers paired with a concrete mixer or their flavor of the day.
Hot summer days and nights bring the crowds to Gina’s Italian Ice. Beyond classic Italian ice that makes the “Chicago’s Best” list, their menu also includes sundaes. Generations of local families make Gina’s a regular summer night stop, and former Berwynites are known to drive in to enjoy a favorite flavor like lemon and watermelon. See if you can spot someone you know on the photo wall while you enjoy a sweet treat. Remember, it’s cash only, so come prepared.
More than Music
For over fifty years, the Turano Baking Company has provided authentically European breads to markets and restaurants. With its national headquarters on Roosevelt Road, you get to enjoy that delightful scent. And, you can pop into Mamma Susi’s Bakeshop for a fresh-baked treat and a free cup of coffee when you spend $5.
Since the 1940’s, three generations of owners at Dan’s Bike Shop have helped kids and adults find the right bike and keep their bikes in good repair. Known for their knowledgeable staff and helpful service, Dan’s Bike Shop also stocks all manner of cycling accessories from gear to clothing.
Hyfaluten is a boutique with a distinct collection of clothing and accessories. Many patrons would say the unmentionables at Central Foundations, offering the finest undergarments, are well worth mentioning.
With a booming music, dining, and shopping scene, there’s a palpable energy about Roosevelt Road. A streetscape improvement plan invested millions into making it an even more enjoyable area for residents, visitors, and touring musicians alike.