Last Friday Lynn and I toured Walter Payton’s Roundhouse in Aurora. Walter Payton was an NFL Hall of Famer and played with the World Champions Chicago Bears. Walter renovated and (re)opened the Roundhouse in 1996. The Roundhouse is a restaurant and brewery. A museum of Walter Payton and the Chicago Bears memorabilia lie within the Roundhouse. The brick building is completely round and it was amazing as Lynn and I walked through the circle. Besides the restaurant and museum, we found a gift shop, piano bar, a comedy club, banquet facilities and a large ballroom. An open air courtyard is perfect for the setting. While we were touring the courtyard they were beginning to fire up the barbecues. The hot dogs, hamburgers, meat and chicken, smelled heavenly. Lynn and I were fortunate also in our wanderings to discover the Roundhouse brewery for rootbeer. Being the rootbeer coinsurers we are, we just had to try the rootbeer. Hmmmmmmm!!!!
The roundhouse was constructed in 1856 when Aurora was considered to be the site for a railroad car building and repair shop for Chicago Burlington and Qunicy Railroad. There were 42 car stalls which made a complete circle. An engine would come in and either pick up or deposit a railcar in one of the stalls.
A train depot was built later connecting to the Roundhouse. Today the train depot is the last or first stop (Depending on which way you’re traveling. Lynn and I are about a mile away from the Route 59 stop.) on the Metra Burlington Northern Santa Fe Line from Aurora into Union Station (downtown Chicago). The Roundhouse is the oldest existing limestone roundhouse in the nation.