Amidst a riotous parade of increasingly slick West Town concepts, the Darling opts for a vibe that’s a little more lived-in — and possibly the wackiest thing west of Wacker. Billed as a two-floor “performance den,” it supplants the short-lived WonFun and 2Fun at 905 W. Randolph St.
Disorientation is the Darling’s mode du jour: Patrons enter through a small flower shop before entering a burnished, cozy space that reveals itself to be more Alice in Wonderland than merely antique. Two stories of fun await you, with food and drink offerings on both floors (though the hungry should stay earthbound, where larger plates are served).
Don’t panic if burlesque dancers suddenly appear spinning fire, or if one of the Darling’s large-scale portraits pulls away to reveal a crooner performing live behind the frame. And don’t worry, it’s not just you — those chandeliers on the ceiling are indeed spinning.