Take last week. Thursday I attended One Hot Night, the Today’s Chicago Woman event featuring the magazine’s 25 hottest bachelors, at the River East Arts Center. I repeat: 25 hot bachelors – well, except for a few no-shows, like the Bulls’ Chris Duhon, who was too busy losing to the Pistons to attend the party. How could that be bad? (If you missed the bash, don’t fret. Summer Lovin’, Chicago’s annual singles event co-sponsored by The Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, takes over the MCA on Friday, June 29th. Tickets are available now.)
One Hot Night was sponsored by Yes vodka, Corona, and Pama, among others, which meant drinks were included in the $65 advance ticket price; proceeds went to Today’s Chicago Woman Foundation, supporting women and children in crisis. About 400 people attended, cheering on the guys who were paraded onstage and asked questions like, "You’re a successful, good-looking guy; why are you still single?" Note to emcees: Never ask a single person why he or she’s still single.
Offstage, I got the chance to catch up with a couple of the featured bachelors, including Brad Young, 39, CEO of Rockit Ranch Productions, parent company of Rockit Bar and Grill and The Underground. I asked him if working in the nightlife biz has made having a love life difficult. "It’s not easy finding someone who’ll put up with the hours and the social aspect of the job," he said. You’re telling me. But he’s not complaining: "I come from a business where I sat behind a desk for seven years as an investment banker, working with the same people. This industry gives me a great forum to meet new people."
Like Young, bachelor Jason Erkes (pictured above with Young, left, and myself) is no stranger to the spotlight. Erkes, 37, is president of the Chicago Sport and Social Club and publisher of Wingman Daily, an e-newsletter for guys. "The first [year] TCW asked me to do this, it was a compliment," he said. "The second time it was flattering. The third time I started asking myself, Why am I still single? I’m over the whole bachelor thing."
After the party, I headed to the opening of Manor (642 N. Clark St.) with former Bachelorette Jen Schefft, who’s single, too. Manor has taken over the old Pasha space, and while the owners’ other bar, RiNo, is known for its impossibly tough door policy, I’m told Manor’s velvet rope won’t be quite so unforgiving. "We want people to feel like a king or queen," co-owner Michael Bisbee says of the English castle-inspired space. Bisbee and business partner Michael Kaulentis spent about $1.5 million on renovations; read more about the bar in my Nightspotting column in the August issue of Chicago.
Coming Up: The guys behind Reserve finally opened their new late-night restaurant and lounge, Crescendo (222 W. Ontario St.), in the old L8 space, with an elaborate private party on Friday. Read all about it here Thursday.
Photograph by Weisenberg Photography