LAKEVIEW — It will take several months to rebuild ROCKS Lakeview after a fire ripped through the building Wednesday, but its owners are hoping to help out its employees in the interim.
The fire began around 7 p.m. in the kitchen and spread throughout the building, owner George Manta said. With its insurance, ROCKS will be able to rebuild, but it will take several months.
"Our plan is to most definitely reopen, but we're in no position to make guesses on that time frame," Manta said.
No one was injured in the fire, but the bar suffered "significant damage," Manta said.
About 35 staff members are subsequently out of work, and although Manta said he and fellow co-owner Tim Shepardson are trying to help them find new jobs, "it's going to take awhile," Manta acknowledged.
To help out its staff, ROCKS will host a fundraiser at its North Center location, 4138 N. Lincoln Ave., on Friday. All money spent from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday will go to displaced employees, including tips.
The owners also launched a GoFundMe campaign for the employees on Friday. As of noon Tuesday, 60 people have donated almost $5,000.
"ROCKS always treated me like family from both sides of the bar, as a customer and employee," one donor wrote. "Good luck ... no doubt you will bounce back stronger than ever."
ROCKS isn't the only popular Lakeview eatery recently closed by a fire.
A Christmas Eve fire ravaged Diner Grill, 1635 W. Irving Park Road. The owner of the 24-hour diner also vowed to rebuild.