Just over a year after a fire all but destroyed the Corner Bar, the popular bar and restaurant in downtown Rockford will reopen Saturday after being rebuilt.
The bar, famous for its chili dogs and its "World Famous Hot Dog Hall of Fame," is hosting a grand opening celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday. The two-story structure, 31 N. Main St., was built in 1873, making it Rockford's oldest brick building.
Orion Construction completed the reconstruction project, salvaging portions of the old building and incorporating them into the new structure..
The grand opening celebration will feature the owners of the Corner Bar, Jeff and Sarah Wolfe, as well as city officials, community members and neighboring business owners.
Officials believe a dumpster fire likely triggered the gas line explosion and blaze that tore through the Corner Bar on Aug. 14, 2017.
Numerous Rockford residents mourned the loss of the building, calling it a community landmark and a key piece of the city's history. Over the decades, it developed a following for its famous chili dogs and Hot Dog Wall of Fame, which awards a nameplate on the wall to anyone who can eat a dozen dogs in one sitting.