Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kleiner to Open Bar in Roosevelt Collection Movie Theater

In case you missed it, Chicago Business had a great article yesterday about Jerry Kleiner and his plans to open up a bar in the 16 screen Kerasotes movie theater that's going in at Roosevelt Collection. If you're not familiar with Kleiner, we had a small old post about him on Sloopin. He's essentially the guy behind some of the city's more ecclectic looking restaurants (Gioco, Opera, Carnivale, Marche, Red Light, Room 21/Via Ventuno).

By joining with Kleiner, the Kerasotes company definitely will be looking to provide a cool and unique experience:

“We really set out to create a more stylish design, and something with a lot of pizzazz and energy and edginess,” says Mr. Kerasotes, adding that he hopes StarBar will even attract non-moviegoers. “Jerry has the ability to mix a showman’s sense of style and design to his restaurants, and at the same time provide a high-quality menu.”

The roughly 4,700-square-foot mezzanine level bar will have room for about 160 patrons. The mezzanine level also will provide access to premium seating areas in two theaters, where there will be 150 reserved seats in an upper level of the two theaters featuring plush seating and table service.

In our opinion this is pretty interesting and great news for Roosevelt Collection. Although the food at some of Kleiner's restaurants might not be the best, the decorations and ambiance are really second to none. We can only imagine that this bar will be created in a similar fashion (however, we're not crazy about the name StarBar for personal reasons).

The movie theaters and bar will open in November or December of this year.

Speaking of Kleiner we recently had a reader email us about one of his other restaurants in the South Loop, Via Ventuno:

Just wanted to give you a heads up on Room 21/Via Ventuno and maybe see if you've heard anything different. I've had suspicions that Room 21/Via Ventuno hasn't been doing as hot as they'd like to be doing but I don't know what to make of this.
I had a reservation made through for dinner last night at Via Ventuno. When I got to the door and tried to get in, I found out that the place was locked up. Lights were on but no one was there, tables weren't set, etc. I thought this was odd as I had made a reservation so I called the number on the window to see if I could get some clarity on the situation. According to the voicemail message, Via Ventuno is now an event-only space. Apparently, they've had "high demand" for the space for events so they've decided to stop their business as a restaurant open to the general public. I don't really see this as a move that allows Kleiner to generate more revenue, but I guess this does help him stop the bleeding from not being able to fill the place on a nightly basis. The bad news is that it appears a good dining option in the South Loop has gone bust.
We searched around on the internets and put a call into the restaurant but unfortunately couldn't get much info (like the emailer says it's being primarily used for 'private parties'). Does anyone know anything about the happenings at Via Ventuno?

(Hat Tip: Nikki D, JC, RMT, AM)

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