When an opportunity arises to receive a $10,000 endorsement from Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer, you take it. That’s what Berwyn resident Rob Ehlert did when he entered his bar concept, Dark Rogue Tavern, into a nationwide entrepreneurial contest sponsored by the famous TV personality.
Dark Rogue Tavern will be Berwyn’s newest bar and grill scheduled to open in July 2016. The concept is the brainchild of Amy Mate and Rob Ehlert, who felt inspired to create “a ‘Cheers’ for nerds.” According to Ehlert, Dark Rogue Tavern will be a place for geeks, gamers, comic book collectors, sci-fi fans, and fantasy role-players to come together and enjoy a space dedicated to them. They can come with friends, or make new ones, and watch their favorite shows and movies, play their favorite games and enjoy craft beers, cocktails, and elevated bar food.
After pitching this idea to Taffer’s entrepreneurial contest, Mate and Ehlert made it into the top 10 but ultimately did not win the contest. But never fear! Dark Rogue Tavern will eventually be here, even without the $10K grant. “We will make this bar open regardless of the support from Jon Taffer,” said Ehlert.
Originally from the northwest side of Chicago, Rob Ehlert moved to Berwyn in April 2014. After living in a few neighborhoods such as Lincoln Square, the time came for Ehlert and his wife to find a place to settle down as a family; they chose Berwyn. “The proximity to the city is great,” said Ehlert. “It’s a 20-minute door-to-door commute to my office in the Loop. The lot sizes for homes offer a lot for the money. And I’m a big barbecue guy so I like the space in our backyard.”
As he comes up on his two-year anniversary of being an official Berwynite, Ehlert will be contributing in a big way when Dark Rogue Tavern opens its doors. Drawing some inspiration from his father who owned a flower business for over 20 years, Ehlert wanted to create something that his family could be proud of. It certainly won’t hurt that Dark Rogue will be the only type of bar in its class in the area. For example, where else in Berwyn can you have a drink, enjoy a meal, and play Warhammer 40K?
To be fair, I am not familiar with the game so allow Rob to explain:
“Basically, if you remember when you were a kid, you had the green army man. Imagine instead of holding it up and going “bang bang,” this is a game that expands well upon this concept with several rules and regulations.”
In addition to a wide variety of tabletop games, there will also be video games, movie nights, comic books, collectibles, gambling machines, and just about anything else that relates to alternative pop culture. Depending upon the time of day, Dark Rogue Tavern will also be family-friendly. “We will open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays,” said Ehlert. “We will work with the City to devise a plan for them to leave at a safe and appropriate hour. We will also have multiple controls in place to strictly enforce the underage drinking laws.”