What’s Going on at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino?

Live music, dine-in service and more are back at Potawatomi, but some restaurants remain closed.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will reopen three restaurants for in-person dining this month and return to having live music and comedy shows at the Northern Lights Theater beginning in September.

Canal Street Café, RuYi and the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill will begin offering dine-in service on Aug. 19. The restaurants have been offering carry-out service only since Potawatomi Hotel & Casino re-opened in June 2020 after a three-month total shutdown of the facility due the coronavirus pandemic.

Each restaurant will be open daily. Canal Street Café will operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; RuYi from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Menus for all three restaurants can be found at paysbig.com/dining.

The Stone Creek Coffee location inside the hotel lobby remains open, along with Bar 360 and The Curve Bar on the casino floor.

RuYi; Photo courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino





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The casino’s two higher-end restaurants, Dream Dance Steakhouse and Bella Italiana, will remain completely closed for now.

“Staffing has a lot to do with that,” Potawatomi spokesman Ryan Amundson said. “We’re working on recruiting at Dream Dance, but an opening date is yet to be determined.”

Amundson said he had no further update on Bella Italiana at this point.

“The three restaurants we’re opening for dine-in service were already open for take-out, so we had more resources in place to make that transition,” he said.

The high-end restaurant Dream Dance Steakhouse at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has been temporarily closed for both dine-in and take-out service since the start of the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

The first show in the Northern Lights Theater will be Sept. 23 with a performance by the classic rock band Ides of March featuring Jim Peterik and Mindi Abair. The group is best known for its hit song “Vehicle,” penned by Peterik. It climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart following its release in March 1970. Popular R&B group The Manhattans will perform the following night.

Other upcoming shows at the 500-seat theater include:

  • Boney James, Sept. 29
  • Frankie Moreno, Sept. 30
  • Comedian Jim Breuer, Oct. 2
  • Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Oct. 5 and 6
  • Gin Blossoms, Oct. 30

For a complete list of scheduled shows, go to paysbig.com/shows. Tickets purchased for previously scheduled shows will be honored.

Potawatomi hasn’t implemented a proof of vaccine requirement for its property and its current face mask policy remains unchanged at this point, Amundson said.

“Masks are not required in the casino, although we strongly encourage our unvaccinated guests to wear them,” he said.

When the property, which is operated by the Forest County Potawatomi tribe, re-opened in June 2020, all guests were required to wear masks. Potawatomi lifted that requirement in May but decided at that time that the entire property would continue to be smoke-free. The statewide indoor smoking ban that went into effect in 2020 didn’t include the Potawatomi property.



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.