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Suburban theater owner plans Chicago Music Hall of Fame

Ron Onesti | Joe Cyganowski-For Sun-Times Media/File photo

CHICAGO — The owner of a suburban music venue plans to open a Chicago Music Hall of Fame next year.

Ron Onesti is the owner of the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. He tells the Daily Herald that after doing shows for 30 years he’s seen the impact of the Chicago area on popular music. He says the museum would be a way of celebrating contributors to “the music evolution in Chicago.”

The museum will be located in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood above the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (1431 W. Taylor). It’s expected to include local musicians and bands in several genres.

Onesti says he’ll spend about $250,000 to boost the lights, video and sound in what he’s calling an “experiential museum.”

“I’ve been doing these shows for 30 years. I’ve come to realize just how much of an impact the Chicago area has had on popular music,” Onesti told the Daily Herald. “There’s nothing out there that’s really celebrating these contributions, so that’s what my intention is. I’m not trying to top the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is just a way of celebrating the great contributors to the music evolution in Chicago.”

The museum will also feature a theater, restaurant and banquet space.