Couple set to open new 1980s rock-themed restaurant

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Chad and Tammy Hufford are hoping to bring something unique to Lake in the Hills with their new 1980s rock-themed restaurant Rock N Grill. 

“When we were kids, we’d go to the ’50s and ’60s diners because that’s what the people that own restaurants had,” Tammy Hufford said. “And we figured it’s time to go up a generation and make it the ’80s.”

The restaurant, 335 N. Randall Road, will serve food including Angus beef hamburgers, hot dogs and salads at affordable prices, Chad Hufford said. Chicago Grill was the previous tenant in the space.

This will be the Crystal Lake couple’s first restaurant. The Huffords worked to put the finishing touches on the restaurant in the week leading up to the soft opening Sunday for family and friends.

Five electric guitars are hung on one wall, and on another are T-shirts and album covers from bands including ZZ Top, Kiss, Def Leppard and Aerosmith. 

“What really changed the industry of music was in the ’80s when MTV came out. People put a face to the music,” Chad Hufford said, adding a TV in the restaurant will play music videos from the ’80s.

When Chad Hufford was growing up, he remembered bonding with his father at restaurants by talking about music.

“It was kind of something that was a little connection that my brother and myself and my dad kind of had together,” Chad Hufford said. “And that’s what I want to do here.”

Veterans will be honored at the restaurant by being able to hang their picture and sign their name on a wall, said Chad Hufford, a Navy veteran. Veterans Q Barbecue Sauce, which donates its profits to veteran organizations, will be used and sold at the restaurant.

Rock N Grill will employ about five people to start off with, including the Hufford’s 15-year-old daughter, Carissa.

The 1,600-square-foot space seats 34 people. Customers will order at the counter and then pick up their food.

If the soft opening goes well, the Huffords said Rock N Grill will open Tuesday. Its hours will be from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. For information, visit Rock N Grill’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RockNGrillLITH.

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