Clubs pop up in Chicago almost as quickly as condos, and a majority of these new spots claim to be the most luxurious thing in town. Most of them are sexy and upscale, but how many can say they have a signature scent? Only Crimson Lounge can claim such grandeur.
This swanky Victorian-inspired lounge replaces Kaz Bar in the Hotel Sax Chicago (formerly the House of Blues Hotel). As the name implies, deep, rich reds dominate the color scheme, accenting the dark wood, textured walls and ornate light fixtures. Sliding etched-glass doors can easily turn an area of the large, open space into an impromptu private soiree spot.
The crowd here dresses to impress, and both sexes pull off looking good without a hitch; but maybe that was Crimson's signature scent, Suha, influencing my perception. A mix of patchouli, cinnamon, sandalwood and nutmeg (among other things), Suha is said to add a warm magnetism to the room. Honestly, I couldn't smell anything, but a few sips of Jay's Lemonade ($12), a perfectly sweet and summery mix of Stoli Citros, muddled lemons, white sugar, cranberry juice and ginger ale, provided all the "warm magnetism" I needed. Cocktails are the way to go, but there's also a reasonably priced selection of beers, and, of course, it wouldn't be an upscale club without bottle service. If you imbibe too much, there's a yummy menu of small plates, with items like rosemary-roasted nuts, to soak up some of that top-shelf alcohol.
Well-poured, delicious cocktails, a good-looking crowd and unique interiors? Looks like the upscale club scene just got a fierce new competitor.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson