Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hotel Essex Officially Opens

We've spilled a lot of digital ink on the new Essex Inn Hotel (now dubbed Hotel Essex) and yesterday marked a huge milestone as they checked in their first overnight guests.  The Chicago Tribune provides the latest overview of the massive $75 million renovation.

One area that is most intriguing to us is the new dinning/entertainment features that the development brings to the neighborhood.  The new managers have a track record:
Oxford manages the property, along with several other downtown hotels.
“We’re known for our rooftops at Oxford,” Jordan said, referring to popular hotel-based nightlife spots like I|O at The Godfrey and LH at LondonHouse.

Hotel Essex’s version is SX Sky Bar, slated to open April 11 in the adjacent Essex on the Park apartment complex. Spread over two levels, the swanky space has its own entrance off Michigan Avenue. An elevator opens onto a sexy, sixth-floor lounge tricked out with colorful velvet booths and cushy, oversized thrones straight out of Alice in Wonderland (footstools available for those who aren’t pro basketball players or leggy super models). Retractable walls of glass will slide open in warmer weather, making for an enviable perch to sip a craft cocktail while peering over Grant Park.

California native Christopher Suzuki, former sous chef at LondonHouse, has been tapped to run SX Sky Bar’s kitchen. Light, sharable plates and sushi will be served daily starting daily at 2 p.m. and going into the wee hours.

Behind a door marked “VIP,” a 9-foot-long beaded light fixture hovers over a stairway that leads down to an area designed “to bring dancing back to Chicago,” Jordan said. As a DJ pumps out the music, an army of lights from the ceiling will project images on the poured concrete dance floor.

Another dining and drinking venue can be found at street level: Grant Park Bistro, a modern French grill from Chicago-based LM Restaurant Group. The restaurant takes the place of the former Brasserie by LM that closed in 2016.

The bistro, which handles room service for the hotel, shares space with a small outpost of Vanille Patisserie called Petite Vanille, selling baked goods and coffee.

This all sounds amazing, but we're just unsure how a nightclub/dance club will do.  If anyone checks it out PLEASE let us know.

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