by barri leiner grant| September 11, 2012 |
The Angels & Kings
complete with a
coffee table from
the original club.
Rich color and
texture add a
shot of glitz to
Mary Cook and
Like many a rock-star celebration, this one got started in the bar. When rocker, entrepreneur, and Wilmette-born Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy fame approached The Hard Rock Hotel about his Angels & Kings concept for the historic Chicago lobby, a gig was born.
The Hard Rock corporation called on Chicago’s own architect and design star Mary Cook and her firm, which built out the bar by melding some of Hard Rock’s corporate identity guidelines and standards with the historic building’s Art Deco architecture and just the right shot of mojo. Cook and her team went to the bar at different times of the day and late into the night to experience the vibe, translating the design details into a Chicago destination that speaks to consumer cool.
Using the same regal elements as the bar, Cook and Associates designed the Angels & Kings Extreme Suite to reflect pure decadence—not unlike her award-winning million-dollar renovations and landmark restorations. “The personality and feel of the Angels & Kings Extreme Suite concept is the prototype for other Hard Rock sites and had to balance the wants and needs of the two brands, which was quite a challenge,” says Cook. Adds Timothy Schwarz, the firm’s director of design, “We created and negotiated with each party and modified the design to meet their needs along with historic-landmark guidelines, imagining everyone from a famous musician to the local office worker enjoying an inclusive, profitable, and cool space.”
Team Cook has tricked out the existing guest rooms perched atop Chicago’s hip 40-story haunt, expanding them into a 950-square-foot crown-jewel penthouse. The two-bedroom, two-bath suite sports a custom bar created with salvaged wood, a five-foot-square, plate-steel custom coffee table from the original Angels & Kings club, and a 1920s pendant light from a private Chicago residence, which hangs in the dining area along with artwork from Wentz’s personal collection.
The space is now suitable for out-of-town headliners looking for a trendy place to call home during a Windy City stay (Fender Guitar and Filter Magazine hosted their guest lounge there during last year’s Lollapalooza festival) and locals with a taste for the high life. Stellar views and separate but adjoining bedrooms make it the perfect spot for a hospitality suite or bridal party.
Lush purple velvet and a shot of glitz (don’t miss the gold alligator-skin sofas) adorn the bed and abode, and framed rocker headshots and mug shots add an artful sense of humor to the halls and walls. Guests can enjoy an upgraded home theater center with a 55-inch plasma TV and rock-star-approved custom Specimen Products audio system, complete with Little Horn Speakers, hi-fi tube amp, and satellite sub-woofer. VIP visitors have already included Cee Lo Green, R. Kelly, Common, and Robin Thicke. Go ahead, indulge your inner rock star and plan a visit. Rates start at $1,500 per night. Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan Ave., 312-345-1000