When I was little and other kids would ask me what my favorite color was, I could never decide between blue & red, because they were best friends, and you can't just have one without the other. My treasured box of 64 Crayola Crayons was just a big mess of disorganized sticks of wax, some broken in half, some with wrappers missing; but no matter what, when I was done coloring, blue & red would always have to be next to each other in the box. They belonged together. It wouldn't have been right for blue to be off galavanting with that floozy periwinkle.
The end of 2006 saw my favorite hotel bar, the moroccan-themed Kaz Bar closed for renovations. It just so happens to be inside The House of Blues Hotel; the only place that I could (and often made up reasons to) justify paying to stay in when I have my own apartment in the same city. I was horrified to hear about the renovations, and could not see any reason why they would want to change a thing in that place.
I even called to see if I could buy any of the art that hung in Kaz Bar, but alas, it had already been shipped back to the House of Blues Foundation. I searched for information online and found that Loews had sold the HOB Hotel to a smaller hotel group, who then turned around and resold it again. I kept telling people about the renovations, and I each time heard myself say, "Well, as long as they keep the rest of the hotel the same, it'll be ok".
The front desk, with the entrance to Kaz Bar on the left
Many a night was spent inside this tent. Thanks to Missy for taking some of these "lights up" photos.
This is the view we always had from the best tent in the house, excellent not only in proximity to the bartender (3 steps to the left), but also because of the prime viewing of live bands, which on this night was the fantastic Shaking Tree. Sadly, Shaking Tree disbanded several months ago after many years together. This destruction is becoming a ridiculous trend that needs to stop!
In today's mail I received a postcard announcing the opening of Hotel Sax, which is the meaningless name they've decided to change the HOB hotel to. Oh, and did I mention that now they're actually redesigning the entire hotel? This news is giving me the (ahem) blues! The HOB Hotel was my home-away-from-home. Actually, it was my home. My home is my home-away-from-home, if that makes any sense. What am I talking about, if you know me and how much I love the House of Blues, it makes total sense. Just look at the name of this blog!
HOB Hotel room decor.
This blurb from a Crain's article: "Following a $17 million makeover, the new Hotel Sax will mix the essence of a 17th century French salon executed with a 21st century twist." What does that even mean? Is Sofia Coppola redecorating the hotel with movie props?
The following information and photos from the not-yet-navigational Hotel Sax website: "Amenities include the following: 42" flat-screen TVs, 320 thread-count egyptian cotton sheets, full wireless high-speed internet access and unexpected surprises, including: the opening of downtown Chicago's hottest new nightspot, Crimson Lounge."
Do you think that they decided to use a shade of red in the "new" bar name just to be spiteful? I don't know if the thought of egyptian cotton sheets are making me woozy or if the picture of the fabric-covered headboard is going to my head, but I'm starting to think that I like the name for the bar, spiteful or not, and that the photos from the website look pretty nice, too. I'll have to stop in the next time I'm at HOB and really check it out for myself.
Photos from the official website of Hotel SUX. It pains me to admit that it actually looks cool and might not suck.
I'll miss you and all our nights spent together, HOB Hotel, but we'll always have the original House of Blues restaurant/club next door to the hotel, right?
Chicago's House of Blues, otherwise known as the only "HO" I ever loved, and is now the last "HO" standing (Apparently they didn't have enough money in the budget for lightbulbs that month). Contrary to what the Academy Awards voters think, it's really hardest out here for a HO, not a pimp.
If they ever shut this place down, I'm out of here! Aykroyd, are you listening?
For now though, I'll take it as a good sign that (House of) blue(s) and red (Crimson Lounge) are once again next to each other, and how much could that really suck?