I stayed at the Public Chicago last week , a new concept as conceived by hotelier ian Schrager. He has been on my radar for quite a while , from his early days as a nightclub impresario at Studio 54 ( which I was too young to experience ).
However , I have stayed & partied at several of his seminal hotels ; Morgans , the Paramount ,the Royalton , the Mondrian , the list goes on.
So the Public is a new " personalized & service oriented " property. Which suits my present incarnation perfectly. No fuss & hype , just comfort & convenience.
It is most relaxed early in the morning for breakfast at the Library. The party hordes do start descending at 5 PM in order to start drinking at the Library or the transformed iconic Pump Room. These have been isolated to the 2 flanking wings of the lobby , so the disco inferno atmosphere that usually greets you at the lobby of any W Hotel is avoided.
The Pump Room was the place to see & be seen back in the day. And its original , albeit more senior Gold Coast Chicago crowd was quite in evidence early Monday evening when we had dinner there.
I was wondering what was going through their minds as they took in the new sparse look of the Pump Room , devoid of the gold plaster that used to reign there. How they liked Chef Jean-Georges " farm to table " centric menu.
Seeing the smiles on their faces & hearing their polite laughter , it did feel that they were embracing the change.