More Than Gambling at Rockford Casino

Great times and lasting memories can be had by those who visit the Rockford Casino–a Hard Rock Opening Act, even if they’re not a gambler.

In addition to 37,000 square feet of gambling space, the “Opening Act” to Rockford’s Hard Rock Casino is also home to two restaurants. Rock River Bar & Grill is a casual eatery featuring USDA Prime steak, while Midway Bar is a sports-themed setting that also serves as a gathering place.

“A lot of people who visit us don’t gamble, and they don’t have to,” says casino president Geno Iafrate. “You might just want to come out and have a beer and a burger and watch a football game.”

Rock River Bar & Grill’s menu is simple, yet tasteful in an upscale-casual setting. Seafood lovers enjoy the wood-fired Atlantic salmon served with artichoke and tomato stew or the surf and turf, which comes with lobster tail, an 8-ounce filet mignon and mashed potatoes.

The Shellfish Fra Diavolo is a fan favorite served with shrimp, clams, mussels, a spicy tomato sauce and fettuccini.

Come early on Sundays and enjoy brunch favorites like chicken and waffles or steak and eggs.
Midway Bar is more of a casual dining experience, with several wood-fired pizzas on the menu, including a pizza inspired by lasagna. This pizza has mozzarella and ricotta cheeses along with meatballs, sausage and tomato sauce. Or, check out the Rock’n Vodka Pasta with sausage meatballs, ricotta cheese, spinach, vodka sauce and rigatoni.

Iafrate says the Opening Act and the future permanent casino are meant to be entertainment destinations.

“In recent weeks, we’ve given away a Sea-Doo and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle,” Iafrate says. “We’ve hosted dozens of musical events, we had Super Bowl parties and we have some new entertainment plans in the works as we approach our one-year anniversary this fall.”

Rock River Bar & Grill is open Wed.-Sat. 5-10 p.m., with Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Midway Bar & Grill is open Sun.-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Rockford Casino–a Hard Rock Opening Act is located at 610 N. Bell School Road, in Rockford.