Hotel management company Journal Hotels debuted the Ambassador Chicago, restoring the property to its historic roots. Built in 1926, Ambassador Chicago draws inspiration from the city’s Golden Age, having served as a local destination for celebrity icons such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. With historical roots in the Windy City, Ambassador Chicago will pay homage to the city’s past through programming and design.
Located within the Gold Coast neighborhood, Ambassador Chicago offers views of Lake Michigan with access to Chicago’s main shopping boulevard, Michigan Avenue. The property has 285 guestrooms, a 24-hour fitness center, two restaurants, local programming and amenities curated by Chicago-based artisans and chefs, in-room dining and other luxury comforts. Attached to the hotel is a legendary restaurant having served as a celebrity favorite during the Jazz Age, which is currently being reconfigured by Lettuce Entertain You Group to introduce design and cuisine concepts that play up the history of the space while infusing modernity into the venue.
Taking cues from its early 19th-century art-deco design, the property celebrates Chicago’s history reflected in the design details such as vaulted ceilings and original crown moldings, providing a unique environment for rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. Glass doorknobs, original mail-chutes, and wrought iron juxtapose against modern furnishings and art installations of painting, photography and sculpture serve as reminders of Chicago’s cultural presence and the hotel’s past.
“We’re thrilled to add a legendary hotel such as Ambassador Chicago to our portfolio,” Stephen Brandman, CEO at Journal Hotels, said in a statement. “The rebranding will return an iconic Chicago property back to its roots through creative activations and allow Journal to not only grow in a critical market, but continue to celebrate iconic spaces that invite discovery.”
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will be returning to this historic location to work with Journal Hotels to operate all food and beverage in the new Ambassador Hotel. From the reconcept of the restaurant, which is projected to open late fall 2017, to creating new menus for roomservice, catering and private events and the lobby bar, Lettuce will serve the Ambassador guests and Gold Coast neighborhood. The restaurant group previously ran the space from July 1976 through January 1998.
"Lettuce has a lot of history at this location. Our first restaurant here was exciting and so much fun that I’m thrilled to be doing it again in a more modern way," Rich Melman, founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, said in a statement.