Last Girl Standing

July 2007

7 years
ago

 

Seeing Red

Hotel bars really haven’t taken off as drinking destinations in this city—which I’ve never quite understood—but my hunch is that Crimson Lounge may start to change that. The new bar in the luxurious Hotel Sax Chicago is not your typical lobby lounge; it doesn’t even resemble the Kaz Bar that held court back when this was the House of Blues Hotel—you know, before the $17 million renovation.

Crimson Lounge is total opulence. Red-tinted mirrors line the back bar; red-hued furniture contrasts with the walnut floors; and a spicy scent, created especially for the place, wafts throughout…

7 years
ago

 

The 40-Year-Old Marriage

My parents are celebrating their 40th anniversary next month, and the occasion got me thinking about relationships and compromise. Mom is a media mogul who goes out for work functions almost as much as I do; Dad is a circuit court judge who’s asleep by eight every night. She does the cooking; he does the eating. She cleans up; he feeds the dogs. She has a standing manicure appointment every Saturday; he has a standing tee time every Sunday. Their schedule seems to work for them, despite personalities on the opposite ends of the spectrum. She’s a Type A; he’s a Type XL (as in extra laid-back). She’s a social butterfly; he has a hard time remembering all of his friends’ names.

They’re not necessarily what you’d expect from soul mates, but since getting set up at the University of Illinois in 1965…

7 years
ago

 

Celebrity Beat: Fergie, Kristin Cavallari, Jim Belushi, and more

Jim Belushi, the Chicago native and star of ABC’s “According to Jim,” hosted a pre-opening party and Imerman Angels fundraiser Thursday night at Martini Park, the newest addition to the River North scene. I congratulated Belushi on his show being picked up for a seventh season. “How cool is that?” he responded. And when I asked about his reaction to the news: “What about my wife’s reaction?” he cracked. “She said, ‘I’m gonna get a new car.’”

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7 years
ago

 

Breaking Nightlife News

Relax: It’s just a bar, not a sign of the neighborhood going down the drain. That’s the underlying sentiment behind the little lounge that could, once called Pharmacy, now called Relax Lounge (1450 W. Chicago Ave.). After seven months of waiting for its liquor license, the rock ’n’ roll-inspired West Town lounge will open to the public next Tuesday, July 17th.

The delay, owners say, was due in part to neighborhood residents petitioning against the bar, fearing the addition of a dingy dive to the ’hood. But Relax is in keeping with the burgeoning area’s other cleaned-up hipster hangs, Five Star and Sonotheque, both of which draw a slick, grown-up crowd and help drive business into the area. After inviting residents to a series of open houses and generally making nice (not to mention sitting through two hearings with the liquor commission), co-owners David Lehtman and Brian Eldridge received word on July 3rd that their license had come through. “I had a sense of relief, excitement, and victory,” Lehtman says…

7 years
ago

 

The Singles Table

I just got back from a whirlwind wedding tour that took me to San Diego and Traverse City, Michigan—two out-of-town weddings back to back, although both couples reside here in Chicago. That’s the thing about thirtysomething weddings: The betrothed often eschew holding the ceremony in one of their own hometowns in favor of some fancy resort in an exotic (or at least out of town) locale. While it can place a bit of a burden on the guests, the getaway wedding weekend almost always ends up being more fun than the traditional in-town, one-night occasion at a local hotel, and it allows for more bonding time with the couple’s family and friends. Since I’m one of those sentimental types who loves getting to know the parents and cries at speeches, I’m a total sucker for that stuff.