Left to right: Wentz, Eisler, Westman
It’s a bar! Pete Wentz (of the band Fall Out Boy), Stephen Westman (of the nightspot Lakeview Broadcasting Company), and Matt Eisler (of Elm Street Liquors, Empire Liquors, Victory Liquors) are the proud papas behind the new nightspot Angels & Kings, which, as of presstime, was slated to open June 21st in the old Rockwell Lounge space (710 N. Clark St.). Eisler gave Chicago the first scoop.
What’s the concept behind the bar?
This is an existing concept in New York: a rock-’n'-roll lounge owned by Crush Management, the team that manages Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and Gym Class Heroes. They built the bar [in the East Village] as a band hangout; it got very popular very quickly. Angels & Kings has a very similar aesthetic to Elm Street and Empire: slick and cool and divey.
How did you get involved?
Stephen partnered with Pete to open Clandestine Industries in Wrigleyville, the only retail store for Pete’s clothing line. It’s doing very well, so they decided to open a companion bar, and Stephen called me to help. Chicago seemed like a logical market since many of the [Crush] bands have roots here.
How involved has Pete been?
He called me the other day from a gallery about a piece of art he wanted to buy for the bar. He’s very hands on; he seems like he really cares.
How did you pick the neighborhood?
We picked River North because of the music venues in the area, like House of Blues, where the bands might have concerts, so it would be convenient for them to come after a show. And it’s close to many of the hotels where they’ll likely stay. We’re taking things a step further and making this a music venue for late-night impromptu shows, so these bands can play afterparties. If a musician gets really drunk, we can hand him a guitar and tell him to get onstage.
Photography: (Wentz) Astrid Stawirtz/Getty Images; (Eisler) Jon Mayor, (Westman) Courtesy of Stephen Westman