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From Chicago Tribune Magazine – January 1st, 2006

IT’S A FRIDAY NIGHT IN OCTOBER at Rockit Bar & Grill, the restaurant and watering hole on Hubbard Street where trendy beer flows, bass thumps and the young and affluent jam into the vast, top-floor bar, abuzz like so many charged particles in a magnetic field.

Bears quarterback Rex Grossman is playing pool with wife Melissa and friends in one corner, roped off by velvet cord to keep the hordes at bay-though “hordes” hardly describes this crowd of buff twenty- and thirtysomething alpha males and attractive young females whose expensive hair shimmers with possibility.

Enter Billy Dec-the baseball cap-wearing part-owner of Rockit and its swank sibling, Oak Street’s Le Passage. With his Blackberry in hand and earpiece hooked on tight–so he can talk to his managers at both clubs–the 33-year-old is armed for what he calls a night “in full host mode.” He looks around, preparing to wade into the crowd, and a grin of anticipation opens across his tan face. “If anyone steps on my new Nikes,” he shouts suddenly, like a war cry, “I’m gonna kick their ass!”

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