Restaurants Main 3
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 It has been replaced by the River Terrace Lounge.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.


  1. We shall claim the River Terrace Lounge as our own!!!

    Knuckles lives on! In our hearts! In our minds! In our nether regions!

    You can close down Knuckles but you can’t close down our need for comic related drunken frivolity!!!


  2. It’s a sad sad day.

    I can already hear the old school con goers telling stories to the new generations about slap fights, puking in planter boxes and that one time Frank Miller showed up at four in the morning to hang out and chat with the last of the drunken masses.

    good times… good times.

  3. Yet another reason to not go this year. Most of the fun in that con was in the evenings, at Knuckles… Oh well, SD, back we go!


    Oh well…at least we have memories.

    Lou Ferigno making a rent-a-cop working the door wet himself.
    The bar manager raising hell with the Digital Webbing group after we brought Giordano’s pizza with us so we could eat as we drank.

    Actually I think those are the only two I can mention without violating non-disclosure agreements.

  5. Hold the phone! Looks like good news and bad news.

    The good news is you have a bar at the wrong hotel. That’s the new bar at the Rosemont Hyatt. The habitrail connected home of Knuckles is the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. (I knew that window towards the back was bugging me.)

    The bad news is Knuckles isn’t listed there either. Instead it has the new “Red Bar.”

    Looks like the steak place you passed going into Knuckle didn’t survive the remodel either.

  6. Whoops, that link snafu was my bad. I had both of the hotel websites up and got confused between the two.

    But, yeah, end of an era. A drunken, crazy era. I think I first met Heidi in person in that bar, back in…’93? ’94?

  7. Actually, the last couple of years I’ve spent my drunk time in the lobby which was much less expensive, less smoky, and much more fun although procuring our first table at Knuckles will always be one of my greatest con memories.
    and How’s is going Sean? You should come up with with some kind of drinking game based on Countdown for the Wisconsin crew.

  8. Missed out on Fister’s my one time in Chicago because of an old college flame. Worth It.
    So, when will someone cut out the middle man and hold a con in a bar? Should be a pub, so we have food. No selling of anything which isn’t photocopied. no autographs except for sketches on placemats or bodyart. Fans show adoration by buying their favorites drinks and food. Cover charge for fans, dress code and hygiene enforced. Should be held in a regular place so that closing time is not a problem. Or after party at a diner, around 6 AM.