There's a story behind everything at the new Dock Rotz Tavern in Minooka. From the meaning of the name to the tabletops, benches and bartop, everything there has a history, even though the restaurant is brand new.
Dock Rotz is owned by Mark and Julie Lavender; Rick and Julie Trafton and Dave and Carrie Beamish. It was something Carrie Beamish says all the time to her husband Dave Beamish that created the name of the Minooka restaurant. Rick Trafton said Dave Beamish is involved with a ton of projects at the same time. Carrie Beamish always says, "I hope you finish one of your projects before the dock rots."
Many of the people involved in this project are also involved with Charlestons Bar and Grill in New Lenox. The customers there asked for a location like the one they found in Minooka.
"We love our concept in Minooka," Rick Trafton said. "From the day we opened in 2007, we heard from people on the west side of Joliet that we need to move west."
Dock Rotz is set to open to the public on Aug. 26. The owners are still working on the interior, but some of the most unique items - such as the whiskey barrel-themed tapper system and the recycled barnwood tabletops, bar and benches - are completed.
"The barnwood is kind of what warms this (space) up," Rick Trafton said.
The owners of the new tavern chose to gut the inside of the building which most recently was O'Donjo's. The fireplace that has been there since the building was Bean Encounters is gone. The space is now two distinct rooms, a bar area and a dining area. There are chalkboards on the walls for specials and events that might be coming up. But more than anything else, the owners wanted to provide a gathering place for the community to come and eat.
The restaurant will be serving all fresh items.
"Every single thing we do in here is from scratch," Mark Lavender said. "It's comfort food with a flair."
Lavender is a co-owner who also serves as the general manager for both locations.
In addition to homemade food, the restaurant will have 23 craft beers on tap and one root beer on tap as well.