Called simply “One,” the space in the club’s multi-story building was previously a closed-off staff area, but now serves up drinks from four proprietary coffee blends, and also offers yogurt and house-made sandwiches. Passersby who see the new room from the street now frequently come into the club to ask if they can buy coffee, and while they’re told no, “it leads to an increased awareness of the club,” notes Director of Marketing and Communications Jared Wike.
The private Union League Club of Chicago has unveiled the results of a nearly $2 million first-floor renovation that acknowledges the realities of modern business, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.
An area of the lobby of the club’s multi-story building that faces Jackson Street in Chicago’s busy South Loop has been turned into a modern coffee shop and work lounge for members, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.
Called simply “One,” the space—previously a closed-off staff area—is accessible via the main lobby, while windows that for decades had been blocked with privacy-enhancing exterior displays are now open, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.
The newfound view into the club from the street has led to an influx of passersby entering and asking if they can buy coffee, Jared Wike, the club’s Director of Marketing and Communications, told Crain’s Chicago Business. The answer is no—”but it leads to an increased awareness of the club,” Wike noted.
Baristas at “One” serve up drinks from four proprietary blends roasted by C&S Coffee Roasters, a private-label roastery in Forest Park, Ill. that is owned by a club member, Dino Simoncelli, The Union League Club’s Assistant General Manager, told Crain’s Chicago Business. Members exiting after a workout at the gym upstairs can also grab yogurt and house-made sandwiches.
The space, outfitted in a modern mix of black-painted wood, light walls and leather banquettes and club chairs, is equipped with wi-fi and charging stations, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. A console underneath a television in the corner hides printers.
A rotating selection of the club’s renowned art, currently including a sculpture by Richard Hunt and paintings by Fritzi Brod and Roger Brown, are displayed in the space.
An eighth-floor outdoor terrace with seating, a new marble fireplace and weather-proof televisions has also been added at the club at the members’ request, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Previously serving as unused space dedicated to the building’s mechanical equipment, the patio area installation cost $300,000.
C&RB featured previous renovations of The Union League Club of Chicago in 2015 (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2015/11/designing-a-new-destiny/).
The 5,000-member Union League, founded in 1879, has tentative plans to move forward with a three-to-five-year plan to modernize the rest of the first floor, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. “Our competition isn’t other clubs—it’s our members’ time,” said Wike. “We’re always looking for ways to remain relevant to their lives.”
For Crain’s Chicago Business’ full report and photos of “One,” go to http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20180615/NEWS07/180619909/union-league-in-chicago-shows-off-facelift