ROPE TRICKS Managing partner Leo Fronimos says Privét will observe a who-you-know door policy.
Comparing itself to the nightspots of Vegas, Dubai, and Ibiza—and an answer to the “run-of-the-mill, overpriced, watered-down clubs of Chicago”—the Gold Coast lounge Privét opens tonight at 937 North Rush Street. Yep, you read that right: 937 North Rush, as in the address of the alley-accessible underground lair that was known as Le Passage for almost a decade, until the club’s last night in business this New Year’s Eve. Although Three Headed Productions (Evil Olive, Cans, Salud)—which took over the spot from Billy Dec and Co.’s Rockit Ranch Productions a few years back—still owns the space, they’ve handed the management reigns to partner Leo Fronimos, a vet of the River North clubs Enclave and the now-shuttered Mannequin; renovations began promptly on New Year’s Day. From door-to-door car service to “personal liaisons” to a no-RSVP, it’s-all-who-you-know door policy, Privét is talking a big game. The Chaser asked Fronimos for details on how he plans to back it up. (Visit Seen on the Scene Monday, January 17th for photos of opening night.)
The Chaser: What made you think there was a need for a nightclub like this?
Leo Fronimos: It’s the only club of its kind in the Gold Coast. Privét caters to the Gold Coast lifestyle and holds itself to a Gold Coast standard.
What’s the difference between a “personal liaison” and a regular server?
Our servers will take and fulfill orders, while the liaisons do everything else. It’s traditionally a busser’s role, but our distinction is they don’t just wipe tables and fill bus tubs; they serve drinks, replenish ice or glasses. They meet all the needs of our guests.
Privét, ready to open just shy of two weeks of renovations
How often will you be at the club yourself? How will guests recognize you?
Always. If guests aren’t familiar with me, I won’t hesitate to introduce myself. My goal is to have guests become friends.
How should nightlifers dress for a night out at Privét?
We expect our guests to take pride in their appearance and we want them to dress their best.
What kind of car will be used to bring guests to the club? Is there a charge for this service, or do guests have to have a table reservation?
We’re using a car service, so if the client requests an Escalade, that’s what I order. This service is a privilege designed for my high-profile clients.
Your opening announcement reads: “Entry to Privét will rely on personal relationships and networks of its top notch staff and management. Those afforded entry will be treated to concierge style service where every need is met.” So, what’s the best way to get past the velvet rope?
Walk-ins will be considered, but they need to be prepared for the Privét experience. If Privét is what you’re looking for and willing to pay for, then our courteous, trained door host will certainly welcome you in.
How many people does the club hold? Do you envision them mostly seated, standing, or dancing?
Privét holds 400 and seats approximately 60. We want people to stand, sit, dance, drink, and be happy.
Privét is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. beginning January 14th. Cover is $20.
Photography: Jodi Grimaldi Photography