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Rosebud has endured both fires, flood

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It was not known Sunday night whether the owners of Rosebud of Naperville would reopen the popular eatery that was gutted by fire earlier in the day, although it might be hard to fault them if they didn't.

In just four years, the restaurant at the southeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Main Street has seen its basement and wine cellar filled with brackish water from the adjacent DuPage River during the flood of September 2008; undergone a star-crossed menu change from traditional Italian cuisine to Americanized "comfort food" and then back again; and hit by fire on both Sunday and July 19, 2006. Eerily, the 2006 fire erupted at 12:19 p.m., a mere 17 minutes later than Sunday's blaze, which fire officials said broke out about 12:02 p.m.

Firefighters sent to the scene of the 2006 blaze found the dining area filled with smoke. A propane torch being used by roofers ignited some insulation material and sparked the fire, which did an estimated $100 damage to the rooftop.

Visitors to the downtown area in mid-September 2008 also witnessed the bizarre sight of waves lapping at the restaurant's doorstep following the Sept. 14 deluge that turned the normally trickling section of the DuPage River into a Midwestern version of the Colorado River rapids.

Rosebud officials spent days pumping several feet of floodwater out of the basement and took a loss on a large cache of wine stored there, although the restaurant remained open for business.

Rosebud of Naperville opened in the spring of 1997. The building, at 48 W. Chicago Ave., has a colorful history. It began as the wood-framed Farmers' Cooperative Creamery, erected just after the Civil War. The Jefferson Club, a men-only social club established in 1885, met in an eastern wing of the building.

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