River North standby Climax Lounge
has reinvented itself as the Griffin Lounge and the change couldn't have come at a smarter time. Just as everyone in this country is spending less and demanding more for their dollar, Griffin is already starting to make a name for itself as a place that caters to the clubgoer, with a focus on customer service and fun extras for the late-night crowd but keeping the big name celebrity DJs that are known throughout the RN circuit.
Griffin Lounge gets its namesake from the eye-catching gothic griffin lights on either side of the bar, that wouldn't look out of place perched off of the Harold Washington Library. They also bring the outside in with tree branches behind the well-lit bar (which is made from a rare African bubinga tree). Step to the dance floor and you’ll notice tall, plush elevated booths (generally reserved for bottle service) and huge photos of flapper-inspired beauties backlit with sexy red lights. The DJ also dominates this area, just elevated above the dance floor, which is a nice way to keep connected to the crowd throughout the night.
Don't worry about long lines when you head downstairs for a bathroom break; Griffin keeps you occupied with fun karaoke machines. If you decide you like the vibe better than the main areas, sleek grey couches, dark black marble walls and red accents set the scene. If you're not ready to throw down for bottle service, the bartenders will quickly serve up a well-poured drink of your choice, albeit at the typical River North neighborhood pricing.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson