Restaurant steeped with Chicago history

September 8, 2008 7:57:51 AM PDT
ROOM21, a former Capone brewery located at 2110 South Wabash in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, is now open for public "investigation." (News Release) ROOM21, an American Bistro, is designer Jerry Kleiner's interpretation of a parlor-bordello, mixing modern materials with European accoutrements. Through an eclectic array of antiques and hand-made pieces, he puts a sexy spin on the building's checkered past.

Internationally noted designer Jerry Kleiner (Carnivale, Marche, Gioco, Opera, Red Light, Victor Hotel, Vivo, Clubhouse, Red Moon, Shelter, Cairo, Fazzio's), has created a colorful, sultry atmosphere that balances bold, masculine design elements and soft feminine touches. He has adorned the walls and trey ceilings with his signature silk sconces in caramel, fuchsia, gold and Kelly green; a large gold-framed mirror; and larger-than-life, custom painted French Damask patterns in a variety of colors, that will carry on to the servers' custom-made silk ties.

A colorful art installation, made of 1930s and 1940s Chicago street sweeper bristles, brings your focus to the center of the room. This piece divides the bar area from the main dining room. The 25 foot, black beveled granite bar has a 22 foot by 9 foot zebra patterned framed mirror with nickel and glass shelves, which Kleiner designed to showcase spirits and liqueurs, available for "legal" consumption. Adjacent seating is available on numerous metal and leather stools, banquettes and the alligator embossed, red leather tufted sofa where a vintage leopard oil painting and sconces hang above.

Kleiner's dining chairs have alligator patterned, embossed brown leather seats with silk and velvet Damask patterned chair backs in red and black. Non-stamped Louis Vuitton luggage handles accentuate the back of each chair which reside at metal tables with tapered legs. Wine colored velvet drapes with gold woven trim dress the 10 foot French doors, while the mahogany pillars, moldings, display case and wine cabinet are warmed by the room's natural sunlight.

ROOM21's 6,000 square foot interior welcomes 180 guests for dinner and cocktails, while the 6,000 square foot luxurious European garden patio seats 120. The garden is enhanced by oversized ceramic pottery, 40 foot evergreen trees, brickwork, rolled canopies, metal entrance gates and cream stone fireplace.

Executive Chef Dan Tucker presents American Contemporary cuisine for dinner. Whitcomb's kitchen is as elaborate as the dining room, with shiny, black subway tiles, Damask pattern painted ceilings and crystal chandelier.

During the construction of this latest restaurant project, Kleiner discovered a hidden tunnel that lead him to a rusty, metal door which read Room 21, leading out to 21st Street. He believes this passageway was used by Capone and his cronies during the Prohibition era. Richard Lindberg, local historian and author of Return to the Scene of the Crime, notes ROOM21 was the first place Elliot Ness raided as leader of the "Untouchables," on June 15, 1930.

ROOM21
2110 South Wabash

Chicago, Illinois

312.328.1198

room21chicago.com


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