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Stanley Cup Victory Lap Gets Second Wind, Resurfaces in River North

By DNAinfo Staff | June 25, 2013 9:05am | Updated on June 26, 2013 12:23am

Stanley Cup celebration at Rockit
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DNAinfo/Justin Breen

RIVER NORTH — And you thought the Stanley Cup went to bed early?

After dropping out of sight for several hours Tuesday, the world's most famous trophy and the NHL's best hockey team hit Hubbard Street around 10 p.m. 

Virtually the entire Blackhawks team poured into Billy Dec's Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard, and delighted fans waiting outside by hoisting the Cup from an upstairs window.

It got wilder ... and wetter, too.

Several Hawks uncorked champagne bottles and soaked the crowd below, setting off huge cheers.

As the crowd swelled on Hubbard, the Cup emerged from the bar, with the Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook holding it over his head as he waded into the crowd.

 The Stanley Cup made its way around the Chicago area after the Blackhawks returned home early Tuesday.
Stanley Cup Crawl
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Goalie Corey Crawford wasn't shy either, whooping it up with fans on the street after he left the bar.

It was the just the latest stop on a daylong journey that featured several hours when the Cup went off the public radar, only to pop up at a bar.

For Cup-searching fans who missed Tuesday's stop, there's one place for sure they can find it this week.

Friday. 11 a.m. Hutchinson Field on Grant Park's south end.

The city's rally to celebrate the Blackhawks' second Cup since 2010 will be in the same park Barack Obama filled for his victory speech when he was elected president in 2008.

It's a change for the Hawks, who partied at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive in 2010, drawing a crowd later estimated at 2 million people.

A parade from the United Center will launch the festivities. The route is expected to be detailed Thursday.

The Cup will have seen plenty of Chicago by then.

It went on a Cup Crawl around Chicago immediately after landing at O'Hare, hitting bars, restaurants, a Mag Mile PR office, WGN Radio, Lower Michigan, the United Center and more.

It started before dawn and extended through the day. And into the night.

On stop Tuesday afternoon was at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush in River North, where Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz held court. The Cup was carried into the restaurant just before 2:45 p.m.

Remarking on the Hawks big win, Wirtz said that the team didn't have any choice but to win.

"You just roll up your sleeves and put good people in the right positions," he told reporters, noting that a congratulatory call from Mayor Rahm Emanuel was "very gracious."

Anne Fernandez, a 21-year-old Tribune Company employee was able to reach through the throng and lay a few fingers on the trophy before it was whisked away.

The Cup then made its way to WGN Radio in the Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave. Afterward, it disappeared into a car on Lower Michigan Avenue before returning to the United Center.

After about 40 fans waited for more than an hour for a glimpse at the trophy, a United Center security guard told them that the Cup had been covertly carted out in two separate boxes — in full view of the crowd, who waited for nearly a half hour longer before leaving disappointed.

Further disappointment awaited more than a dozen Cuptrackers when a tweet named Rock Bottom Brewery as the next stop for Stanley.

The rumor was false, but several sports fans said they would keep following the popular #Cuptracker hashtag in hopes of spotting it.

Keith Garner, Mike Topalovich and Sarah Pepper were all on at least their third attempt at catching the Cup on tour.

"Each time I've missed by a couple seconds," 21-year-old Pepper said, just as Topalovich walked up.

"This would be an awesome bar hijack, if you were a bar owner," the 36-year-old Park Ridge resident said. "Drink specials."

The Cup arrived at O'Hare Airport just after 4 a.m. Tuesday after the Blackhawks' dramatic Game 6 win in Boston Monday night.

By late morning, the Cup had found its way to the United Center to get its photo taken in the locker room. At one point, members of the media were ushered into a room to await the Cup.

But about 12:10 p.m., the media was told the Cup had left the building. Turns out it hadn't.

In fact, more than an hour later, the Cup was spotted at the United Center. Then it made its way out of the stadium, headed to 437 Rush.

Follow DNAinfo Chicago's live updates on Storify as we track the Stanley Cup in Chicago.

Stanley Cup at Phil Stefanis
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DNAinfo/Jackie Kostek

Here's a rundown of the Cup's path around the Chicago area:

• After arriving at O'Hare Airport around 4 a.m., the team brought the trophy to Harry Caray's restaurant in Rosemont, with buses piling up outside the restaurant and Blackhawks piling inside.

• The boys then hauled the Cup down to the South Loop, with Captain Serious, Jonathan Toews, carrying the Cup into the Scout bar and restaurant.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel paid a visit to the team inside the Scout. Emanuel later told reporters: "I didn't know beer was the breakfast of champions."

Later, the Cup emerged from the bar, and word was it was on Interstate 55 headed southwest. TV news choppers followed a black SUV traveling down the expressway.

• Was it headed to Coach Joel Quenneville's suburban home, which was strewn with toilet paper? Well, Coach Q wasn't there. He was eating at Page's restaurant in Hinsdale.

And the Cup wasn't with him.

• Meanwhile, revelers were camped out at the Pony Inn in Lakeview since the wee hours of the morning for a planned party with the Hawks — and the Cup. The beer was flowing, and the line was out the door, but a bar employee said the Cup isn't coming after all.

Exhausted Hawks fans had waited for hours, first outside and then inside Pony Inn, waiting for the Cup, but it never showed.

Most fans whose drinks of choice were split between Bloody Marys and beers thought the team would return to the bar where they partied after their 2010 Cup win.

"Knowing they were here three years ago was the reason," said 44-year-old Dave Wolfson. "It's not too often you're going to have Bloody Marys at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday.

Other fans saw a Facebook post the bar put up during the early hours after the win that said the Cup celebration would begin at 6 a.m.

By about 9:30 a.m. a few patrons began to leave, many of whom had to go to work.

• At 10:45 a.m. the Blackhawks solved the mystery by tweeting a photo of the Cup in the Hawks' dressing room at the United Center.

• At 12:10 p.m., Blackhawks staff told media waiting inside the United Center that the Cup runneth out of the building. But it hadn't.

• About 2:30 p.m., the Cup left the United Center.

• About 2:45 p.m., it arrived at 437 Rush.

• About 3p.m., the Cup  visited the WGN Radio studio in Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave.

• About 3:45 p.m., the cup moved through crowds on Lower Michigan Avenue before being loaded in to a car.

• By 4 p.m., the cup was back at the United Center, where it stayed for about an hour until it was covertly whisked away in full view of the crowd.

• About 6 p.m. a tweet naming Rock Bottom Brewery as the next stop sent about 20 fans to the bar within an hour, but the tweet was false.

• About 8 p.m. the Blackhawks announced plans for the 2013 celebration at 11 a.m. on Friday in Grant Park after a parade from the United Center.

•About 10 p.m., a swarm of Hawks, including Toews, brought the Cup into Rockit Bar and Grill in River North.