More than two decades ago, Chicago native John Burr opened Soundstructure Studios, which comprised ten rehearsal spaces and two apartments, at the corner of 30th and Walnut streets. In 2003, Burr built a building next door that housed fifteen more rehearsal studios, then decided he also wanted to incorporate a venue or performance space -- and in January 2005, he opened the Walnut Room
, without any prior bar or restaurant experience. "I was so naive about what I was getting into, so I wasn't that scared or nervous about it," he says. "I think once it was up and running and reality set in, it became pretty terrifying. But at that point, there's nothing to do other than just put your head down and make it work.
See also: Randall Frazier Is Switching Things Up at The Walnut Room