It's been nearly 8 years since the exclusive Chicago Athletic Association closed its doors for the promise of a new hotel. In 1890 a group of Chicago's most prominent businessmen formed the Chicago Athletic Association and in 1893 erected a clubhouse along the Michigan Avenue Streetwall at 12 S Michigan. The Venitian Gothic inspired building has been a mysterious treasure for those who had not the means to visit, for over 120 years. This past May, however, that has all changed.
Now open to the public the building houses a boutique hotel, named The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, after its predecessor. Easily the most exciting parts of the hotel are the myriad of places to eat, drink, and be merry. And each of them has retained the sophisticated feel of an exclusive club catering to the ivy league and prep school crowd.
Shake Shack - Located on the ground level this burger joint also serves wine, beer, and, of course, frozen custard shakes!
Drawing Room - Serving as the lobby of the hotel this space brings me right back to study hall in boarding school, if only they served cocktails then. A great spot to meet before dinner, you can relax with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, browse through a book, or enjoy the views of Millennium Park below.
Milk Room - From 7:00a.m.-3:00p.m. this space serves as a coffee shop, but after 5:00 the 8 seat bar is expected to serve extremely rare spirits and a few select cocktails. I have not heard that the bar concept is open yet, but it should be coming soon.
Game Room - All games are free! Kick back and enjoy casual food along with cocktails and beer while challenging your friends to a variety of games from bocce ball, to pool, to foosball, or shuffleboard.
Cherry Circle Room - The main restaurant is a circular room with an old wood bar running along the perimeter. Have a casual meal at the bar or cozy up to a booth and have your cocktail made tableside!
Cindy's - Because Chicago is best in the summertime a rooftop bar with lake views was in need! Cindy's has the feel of a lakehouse cottage with a million dollar view. Relax inside for dinner or enjoy cocktails on a summer night by the outdoor firepits. Don't forget to enjoy the Navy Pier fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday in the summer!
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