NEW BACK TO SCHOOL HOURS!

Hours of Operation: 7:30 am to 2 pm Wednesday-Sunday 
5 pm to 9 pm Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 
Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

For questions, please email us at info@thenorwegian.com or call 815-329-6191 during business hours
1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103

 "Skiver Fever" T-Shirt Campaign
  •  "Skiver Fever" T-Shirt Campaign
  •  "Skiver Fever" T-Shirt Campaign

"Skiver Fever" T-Shirt Campaign

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We're pausing the t-shirt part of this campaign to print our first round of 300 shirts. We'll open it up again after we fulfill our initial order.

"Skiver Fever" artwork by Joe Tallman & Alison Weust. Screen printed in Rockford, IL on a t-shirt made of 100% recycled materials. Available in plain white or dyed (with our restaurant food scraps)

We're pausing the t-shirt part of this campaign to print our first round of 300 shirts. We'll open it up again after we fulfill our initial order.

"Skiver Fever" artwork by Joe Tallman & Alison Weust. Screen printed in Rockford, IL on a t-shirt made of 100% recycled materials. Available in plain white or dyed (with our restaurant food scraps) by Anna Owens.

The Short Story: We partnered with local artists to raise funds to pay State of Illinois unemployment tax penalties that were incurred due to our forced shut-down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our business will owe the State of Illinois tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the next two years because we followed the mandated shut-down orders. We have already had to pay about $30,000 this year alone.

The Full Story: Æbleskiver (we call them skiver ("skee-ver") for short) are Danish pancake balls that we serve with powdered sugar and our house raspberry jam.  We're one of the few restaurants in the country to serve them. We thought: what better food to feature on a shirt to raise awareness about the little Nordic pub that we're fighting for here in the North End of Rockford.  We asked our friends Joe Tallman and Alison Weust to design us the art.  We are screen printing this design on white t-shirts made from 100% recycled materials, then one of our pastry chefs--Anna Owens--is using our food scraps to dye each shirt. We're so grateful to work with this talented team.

To explain why we're hosting a fundraiser, we'll need to start at the beginning of the pandemic.

On March 15th, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker shut down restaurants and bars.  We complied with his request.

A few months later, we were allowed to reopen with outdoor seating and limited indoor seating.  So we moved half our tables outside, built additional outdoor seating, and complied with his request.

A few months later, we were forced to close for indoor dining.  Not wanting to lose our employees, especially right before the holidays, we pivoted into a holiday market, making a shopping experience for our community.  Our neighbors supported us, and we were one of the fortunate restaurants who made it through the pandemic.

On January 2nd, 2021, we shut down the holiday market.  Because the State of Illinois was still not permitting indoor dining, we complied, and we laid off our staff.  We called IDES, and we were told to label lay-offs as "COVID-19 related," and our unemployment tax rate would not be affected.

Fast forward to 2022.  We have learned that--beginning on January 1, 2021, while we were still in a mandated shut-down--the State of Illinois was beginning unemployment tax rate hikes. They are charging our restaurant the highest possible unemployment tax rate for the next two years because we closed during Quarter 1 of 2021. You are reading correctly: we are being fined by the State of Illinois for following the mandate of the State of Illinois.  Restaurants who did not follow the shut-down mandate not only made their revenue, but also avoided penalty. 

We had ZERO unemployment claims before the pandemic. Today, our rate is currently the highest in the State of Illinois: 7.625%. Unemployment tax rates usually drop over the course of a year, but the normal turnover in the restaurant industry doesn't allow for that sizable of a drop.

We called the Mayor of Rockford, Tom McNamara.  He fought as hard as he could for us.  We called our Representative, Maurice West.  His Chief of Staff said he understands how grossly unfair it is, but there's nothing he can do.

We called IDES.  Their lead lawyer told us IDES was "punishing the wrong people," but there's nothing they can do.  He recommended we shut down for a full year to reset our rate.  He apologized, and said the State of Illinois is 6 billion in debt after paying unemployment to workers, and they need to make it back somehow.  So charging small businesses is how they plan to do it.

We have no choice but to take matters into our own hands.  We're trying to raise money to pay the State of Illinois for following their orders.  We do not make enough a year in profits to pay them.  Our margins have always been small, and with the rising rates of food, gas, and wages, they've never been smaller.

If you don't have money to buy a t-shirt (and if you're not already burned out of helping independent businesses by now) we ask that you share the word about our fundraiser.  If you'd like to go an extra step, call Representative Maurice West and tell him that charging local independent businesses the highest possible unemployment rate is just plain wrong, especially after they were told by the Governor to remain closed in January of 2021 and were told by IDES employees that our rates would not be affected.  The number is 815-987-7433.

Politically, we may differ. Our friends on the right believe we should have bucked the Governor's orders in the first place. Our friends on the left believe we shouldn't besmirch the reputation of their representatives. We're not making a political stance or inciting emotions. We're simply raising funds to give our restaurant a chance at going forward, and explaining why we're doing it.

Thanks so much for your support, The Norwegian Team

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ROTATING WEEKLY NIGHT MENU (5 pm to 9 pm)

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Previous events

The Norwegian's Bourbon Dinner

The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL

If you love bourbon and would love to taste how it pairs with everything from burrata cheese to peaches, from red snapper to bison short ribs, this menu is for you! Our kitchen team led by James St. Clair is excited to provide a one-of-a-kind night here in Rockford's North End.

These special Wednesday Night dinners are our crew's way to flex their creativity, and we love the opportunity to cook them for you. Please join us for a special night of food, cocktails, and stories.

$69

French Wine Night

The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103

If you love French wine, crêpes, cheese, crème brûlée and all things French, join us for this Wednesday Wine Night: The French Edition. Our chef James St. Clair will be pulling out all the stops on this incredible 6-course meal. We'll be telling stories about wineries as we sample multiple wines and learn how to pair them with food. Grab a friend (or make one here) and enjoy an unforgettable night in Rockford's North End.

$75 (includes all food and wine)

Apr9

Bonfire Brunch & Adult Easter Egg Hunt

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Severson Dells Nature Preserve, 8786 Montague Rd, Rockford, IL 61102

Finally: a fun outdoor event for adults. Join our team as we help you cook a full brunch over the fire in one of the area's most beautiful forest preserves. Hunt for Easter eggs and enjoy spiked cocoa or coffee in a savannah or on a forest trail. What a nice way to spend a Saturday while supporting a wonderful organization.

$35

Mar23

Spanish Wine Night

The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL

Wednesday Wine Night is back! This event will feature 7 carefully curated wines paired with small tapas-style dishes to compliment them. Greg Callahan will be pouring wine and telling stories, while our kitchen team--led by Dominic Romano--marries each wine with Spanish cuisine.

$75 (includes all food and wine)

Modern Scandinavian Dinner

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The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103

For the first time since we've opened, we're hosting a true, modern Scandinavian dinner. We're using traditional Nordic foods and putting a fresh spin on them. Chef Dominic Romano will be pairing each course with an ice-cold house-made akvavit, a wine, or a cocktail, made by mixologist extraordinaire--Greg Callahan.

This menu will push some culinary boundaries. For those of you bold eaters, we hope you'll join us for this amazing menu, complete with stories from our staff.

Drinks and food are included in the price of the ticket. Thank you for supporting our special events here in the North End of Rockford.

$75

Snømarket 2021

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The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103

We are once again transforming our back alley into a Nordic Fishing Village! We'll be open December 17th, 18th, & 19th from 3 pm to 9 pm.

What are we offering? We'll be selling food (wild boar sandwiches, mushroom phillies, pretzels & Carlsberg cheese, etc), glögg, hot cocoa, æbleskiver mixes, mimosa flight kits, restaurant swag, toys for kids, & more. Joining us this year for vendors will be talented local potters, print makers, macrame weavers, guitar string jewelry makers, knitters, & other eclectic artists. Also participating will be our neighbors at Rooted & Wonderland Sweets.

What will be happening? The event schedule on Friday & Saturday is as follows:

3-4 pm: Rubber Herring Toss 4 -5 pm: Viking Dice Games, Ornament Decorating, & Kids Coloring 5 -8 pm: Horse Drawn Carriage Rides Through Churchill's Grove 7 - 9 pm: Carole-oke (Belt Out Your Holiday Favorites)

And for Sunday: 3 - 5 pm Meet & Greet Nordic Fairytale Characters ('Snow Sisters') For Kids 4 - 5 pm Skittle Scatter Nordic Bowling, & Kids Coloring 3 - 6 pm Horse Drawn Carriage Rides Through Churchill's Grove 7 - 9 pm: Carole-oke (Belt Out Your Holiday Favorites)

Our indoor bar will be open as a warming hut. Beverages will be served inside as well as outside. All food will be available outside. Food is available by purchasing tickets on-site at our ticket booth.

Why are we doing this? To bring our community together in the great outdoors this holiday season.

What to expect? A very happy crew of restaurant people excited to serve you (in masks).

What not to expect? A giant winter market. If you'd like a bigger selection of gifts, we suggest a trip to Chicago for their wonderful Christkindlmarket. We are a Mom & Pop restaurant creating a small hometown experience for our neighborhood.

Where to park? On the neighborhood streets surrounding 1402 N Main St in Rockford, Illinois. Parking is plentiful. What to bring? Your families, friends, and WARM winter gear. We like the embracing the cold, & we invite you to join us.

Nov20

Lincoln Flowers & Goat Getter

The Norwegian , 1402 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103

This is a split bill show with our very own Lincoln Flowers (playing solo), and Jack Barnett (playing with his band, Goat Getter). Both of these artists are not only incredible writers and musicians, but they're incredible people as well. We're so happy to welcome these phenomenal people to our stage. Dinner and drinks available for the concert.

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We highly recommend making reservations through OpenTable. You can make reservations or join the table wait list using the form below or the app on your phone. We look forward to seeing you soon.