Pub coming to newly opened Sports Factory

Staff Report 

Prairie Street Brewing Co. (PSB) is set to announce an all-new downtown venture, Owly Oop Sports Pub.

Owly Oop Sports Pub will open soon on the second floor of the new UW Health Sports Factory in the growing Madison Street corridor of downtown Rockford. UW Health Sports Factory is managed by the Rockford Park District.

Owly Oop will operate in just not one, but two locations inside building: upstairs in a pub overlooking the Rock River and in a smaller concession stand downstairs at court level.

“We could not be happier partnering with Prairie Street Brewing Co at the UW Health Sports Factory,” said Jay Sandine, assistant executive director of the Rockford Park District.

“Their outstanding quality and reputation will no doubt take downtown Rockford and our facility to the next level. The thousands of residents and visitors to the UW Health Sports Factory will truly have a one-of-a-kind experience when they dine and overlook our beautiful Rock River at Owly Oop Sports Pub,”

“It’s great that the restaurant that will serve the new UW Health Sports Factory will be run by our friends from Prairie Street,” said Mayor Larry Morrissey.

“They have an outstanding reputation for quality and professionalism that will complement our spectacular new sports venue. Prairie Street has set the standard for riverfront dining in Rockford. Both locals and visitors will be impressed with Owly Oop, another great riverfront venue from the Prairie Street team.”

“We’ve partnered with the Rockford Park District for a few years now,” said PSB co-owner Chris Manuel, “doing off-site catering at Nicholas Conservatory, Sinnissippi Bandshell, Midway Village and on the Forest City Queen riverboat. And of course, we’ve been proud to participate in City Market, as well.

“So, when the Park District released a RFP last year for concession operations at the Sports Factory, we jumped on it.”

“My partners and I are huge believers in Rockford, downtown and Madison Street, especially,” Manuel added. “There’s a lot of buzz around town about the area and that’s very gratifying to those of us who have been investing here for quite some time now.”

“As for the menu, I’d describe it as healthy, upscale pub food,” said Reed Sjostrom, co-owner. “Just like at Prairie Street Brewing Co, we’ll serve food made of fresh, local ingredients using from-scratch recipes. Whether you’re a father, son, mother or daughter, we want you to go home happy and feel like you’ve received good value and friendly service. We want to make Owly Oop a seamless, treasured part of the Sports Factory experience.”

“And, it’s not just a place to visit before or after a game on the Sports Factory courts,” he continued. “Owly Oop will have the largest television screen in Rockford – a 12-foot monster – and several other big-screen TV’s for viewing broadcast sports, too. People can come anytime and get away from it all.”

“Not only will we serve Prairie Street’s freshly crafted beer on tap but, we’ll also be nano-brewing beer on-site,” said Dustin Koch, the third of three co-owners. “Nano brewing is like taking micro brewing to a super micro level. We may even use Owly Oop’s nano operation as a test platform for new flavors to brew in larger quantities at Prairie Street Brewing Co.”

“Owly Oop is a cool concept, created by a cool company in a very cool new building in a quickly developing part of Rockford,” said Joshua Albrecht, marketing director of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Athletes, spectators and other patrons are really going to enjoy the family friendly vibe they’re planning. The scenic view from the restaurant’s deck overlooking the river – that alone is worth a visit.”

The west side of Owly Oop features an expansive view of the Rock River, Fordham Dam, Davis Park, BMO Harris Bank Center and in the future, the Embassy Suites hotel project in the old Amerock building through a large bank of garage doors and an exterior deck.

Chicago’s 670 The Score (WSCR) will be on hand doing a live radio remote this Saturday, with Steve Rosenbloom and David Schuster live at UW Health Sports Factory Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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