Official statement from the Cobra Lounge and the family of Sean McKeough:
Sean McKeough died unexpectedly on Tuesday, November 29th in Arkansas while spending time with his father. His death was the result of a stroke, which has been attributed to the after effects of radiation during his successful treatment of throat cancer in 2013.
Sean McKeough was driven by a passion for music. The friendships he built in his youth revolved around music and playing in bands with his friends. It was through his band mates that he was introduced to what became a successful career at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. His amazing success at the CBOE is what allowed him to pursue his true passion for music.
In 2006, while still working at the CBOE, Sean realized his dream of opening Cobra Lounge: a bar, restaurant and music venue. He continued to build on this dream, always improving and evolving the venue. Sean was a constant fixture at Cobra and always had a decorating or improvement project underway. Many of his childhood friends found themselves in positions helping Sean realize his vision for Cobra. Over the years the Cobra Family grew to include friends old, and new.
In 2015 Sean stepped away from the CBOE and opened All Rise Brewing Company adjacent to Cobra Lounge. The brewery concept was a tribute to one of Sean’s favorite bands, Naked Raygun. His vision for the brewery drew upon imagery and music from Naked Raygun’s catalog. Cobra has been Naked Raygun’s unofficial headquarters since reuniting at Riot Fest in 2006. It is not uncommon to see a member of the band having a bite to eat before practice a few nights a week.
Riot Fest was the endeavor that brought together Sean’s passion for music and throwing parties.
Although Sean was never one to be the “life of the party” he loved being on the outskirts and observing all of the people he brought together. It was Sean’s love of music, and Naked Raygun, that lead him to his partnership in Riot Fest. Sean was the driving force in consolidating Riot Fest from a multi-venue, multi-day event to one of the largest independent music festivals in the United States. Anyone who knew Sean knows that he made no small plans, he did things his way and did them larger than life.
Sean’s friendships gave him the fuel to pursue his ambitions and in turn he took very good care of his friends and family. Sean created opportunities and second chances for too many people to name. All of Sean’s projects were a labor of love and he had a dedicated crew that was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill his vision and will continue to create the magic that he started.
A memorial ceremony is being planned and his family asks that you respect their privacy at this time. The info for the memorial can be viewed online at the following link, www.smqmemorial.com. A separate memorial celebration of Sean’s life is being organized, more information on this event will come at a later date.
Please come by Cobra Lounge and All Rise Brewing Company to raise a pint in Sean’s memory.