TAO Chicago Nightclub
On September 17, 2018, Chicago’s newest nightclub and restaurant hybrid opened its doors. TAO Chicago can be found in the city’s historic River North stone castle but the 1892 landmark is anything but outdated. TAO has been completely transformed into a multi-level lounge, restaurant, and separate adjoining nightclub – all meticulously designed by Rockwell Group. TAO Chicago draws inspiration from the venue’s other popular locations, including TAO Downtown in New York and other destinations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. For a modern, sophisticated vibe, TAO Chicago has been remodeled and now features Asian-inspired artwork and décor with a relaxed ambience.
The building that houses the new TAO location was originally designed by Henry Ives Cobb. Before becoming one of Chicago’s hottest new restaurants and nightclubs, the granite-clad building was once home to the Chicago Historical Society, followed by the Chicago Institute of Design and a series of nightclubs and recording studios. The property provides TAO with more than 34,000 square feet of space and although it has been overhauled, it still contains many of its original charms. The structure’s stone walls and arched windows still remain, creating a dynamic nightlife destination that preserves the building’s aged beauty.
TAO Chicago has a number of remarkable highlights that guests will discover upon stepping foot into the spacious venue. First, the ceiling in the subterranean dining room consists of a round black panel that has large-scale gold Chinese calligraphy carved into it. The awe-inspiring focal point gives a nod to the property’s original domed ceiling. Upon arrival to TAO, you’ll find that the entrance to the club is an alley lit with lanterns which was inspired by Japanese temple gates. Just over the restaurant is a spiral staircase and on the second floor you’ll find Chinese lucky cat figurines believed to bring prosperity.
Throughout the club you’ll discover a series of arches that once covered a vaulted library. These arches have been adorned with LED strips to create the ultimate mood lighting. Some of the biggest highlights in the club include a 20-foot-tall Hush mural, as well as a 10-foot-tall Japanese bell with disco ball that was custom made. Exposed brick throughout gives TAO Chicago warmth and the low lighting really sets the mood. In the two-level space, you’ll find four private dining rooms, a large bar, and a grand staircase that connects to the club’s ground and lower level seating.
TAO Chicago has a capacity of 1,000 people in its nightclub and can operate as two separate rooms or can be combined into one larger room with a removable wall. Towards the end of the space you’ll discover private booths where guests can relax and enjoy privacy away from the crowds. The lounge area has its own bar and leads to the venue’s restrooms. At the end of the nightclub you’ll find TAO’s dance floor and DJ booth. Since opening, TAO Chicago has been a celebrity magnet attracting the likes of Kourtney Kardashian, Taraji P. Henson, and Cub players Daniel Murphy and Jon Lester.
The menu at TAO Chicago does not deviate much from its other locations in Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles. However, you can expect to find a few new dishes to complement their crowd favorites like wagyu beef and dim sum. You’ll want to try out items like lobster wontons, crispy snapper, and their signature tuna sashimi “pringle.” The restaurant in TAO can accommodate up to 275 people. If you’re ready to visit TAO Chicago, you can find the nightclub at 632 N. Dearborn Street. TAO opens at 5 PM nightly and reservations can be made to ensure fast entry.