Because Chicago Athletic Association Hotel opens next Wednesday as an impossibly ambitious house of leisure across from Millennium Park, and you’ve got a lot of eating, drinking and bocce-ing to do. (Slideshow’s right here.)
So much to say about this place. Like how it was built in 1893 as a private men’s club. And how it became a designated landmark, but it’s been closed since 2007, but John Pritzker and company have meticulously modernized it.
Let’s just say:
It’s a 241-room hotel now.
One with pommel horses at the end of your bed.
Shake Shack is on the first floor.
You know what they do.
Cindy’s (pictured) is on the top floor.
It has indoor picnic tables, Frogmore stew and a “spirit guide” making punch bowls for you and your friends who’ll gaze godlike out over Millennium Park and the lake.
You also have ballrooms, a performance venue, a store from the Space519 people, plus:
Baristas by day, whiskey by night.
Shuffleboard. Indoor bocce. Drinks. A mural of the history of balls. (The G-rated kind. Here's the first look at pics. Right here.)
A Gothic, castle-like den where cocktail carts roam free.
Cherry Circle Room.
A mid-century-ish restaurant where you’ll have scotch and steak and think you’re Don Draper.
Pre-yoga Don Draper.