Speaking of con season, it seems one of the most legendary bars in convention history has fallen prey to remodeling. Knuckles, the sports bar at the Rosemont Hyatt, scene of countless Wizard World Chicago hijinks…is no more. It has been replaced by the River Terrace Lounge. We never really noticed a river anywhere nearby, but the terrace and the lounging part is probably accurate.
Dark, crowded and smoke filled, Knuckles, or “Fisters” as it was known by local wags, was the one bar where cartoonists, fans, actors, wrestlers, Playmates, and the rest of the whole nutty con crew got to smash into each other, often mixing with whatever other convention was staying in the Hyatt that weekend with sometimes memorable results. Who can forget Beatlefest and the Palestinian Mixer? As Chicago became the “Comics gone wild!” of the con schedule, Knuckles became even more chaotic, with fisticuffs, arrests and at least one guy who got tasered. It was also the set-up for one of the greatest lines on our personal convention gong, when actor Sean Astin was spotted in the bar, leading to the exclamation, “Hey, everyone, there’s a hobbit in Fisters!”
The new place looks pretty genteel — perhaps Fisters had gotten too out of control for the Haytt and things needed to be calmed down. Or maybe, it was just too crowded– the new area looks much more open.
As long as the Hyatt lobby still has those poured concrete floors however, there will still be danger.