New Erection for Chicago’s Viagra Triangle Neighborhood

Maple & Ash

Drawing of Maple & Ash, courtesy of Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office.

The Redevelopment Fairy is aiming her bow at The Hunt Club (1100 North State Street), the venerable steakhouse and watering hole in the heart of Chicago’s Viagra Triangle entertainment district.

Surprisingly, the prime chunk of real estate isn’t being turned into swanky condos. Instead, The Hunt Club will evolve into a new, larger, more upscale restaurant called Maple & Ash.

Maple & Ash will take up the first two floors of the new three-story building. The third floor will be an after-hours club. The kitchen and restrooms will be in the basement.

Even though it will only have three floors, the building will be quite tall. Over 60 feet. The look is very traditional Chicago industrial/residential, but with lots and lots of glass.

The developers want to start demolition in mid-January (got to get that ├╝ber-profitable New Year’s Eve party in!), and have the new building ready to open around Thanksgiving, 2013.

The restaurant gets its name from the woods used to cook some of its dishes. Interestingly, it also plans to produce its own vodka.

This could be a very good thing for the intersection of State and Rush, which has been flagging for the last few years. Chain restaurants have been moving in, while the high-end retail and restaurant action moved a little south, and far north into Bucktown. Articles in Crain’s have people worried about the future of Carmine’s. And certain buildings remain persistently vacant, giving the area an unwanted grit.

It will be interesting to see what reasons the naysayers come up with to say nay to this project. The current Hunt Club building is nostalgic, not historic. The late-night club is already covered under the property’s existing after-hours liquor license. No one will lose their view. And traffic? If anyone’s really concerned about traffic, they’d target the parade of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys cruising in front of Gibson’s and the Tavern on Rush, across Mariano Park.

If you’d like to say “yea” or “nay” to this project, you get your chance tonight (December 3, 2012) and tomorrow at 6pm at the restaurant, 1100 North State Street.

Editor

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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