When I first heard the name Cherry Circle Room, I was immediately reminded of a children’s board game. Is it just me or does it sound like a place where you might find Colonel Mustard with the lead pipe? This mental image ended up being extremely fitting, because getting there, like getting to the end of a board game, is a fun little excursion. The latest project from Land and Sea Department is tucked away in a quiet corner of the newly restored Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, and is just steps away from Millennium Park.
The path from the ground floor of the building to the restaurant was largely reminiscent of a treasure hunt; the treasure being the calamari that enveloped my taste buds at dinner. In fact, I decided to give you, my devoted reader, your very own step-by-step treasure map. This way, when you check out this true gem for yourself, you can make the same observations as me.
- Enter the beautifully restored Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, formerly a private men’s club.
- Allow your jaw to drop to the floor as you take in the stunning iron and marble staircase, situated next to Shake Shack.
- Jaw stays dropped as you take in the equally beautiful crinkle cheese fries.
- Past Shake Shack you will notice a line of no less than 100 people, all under 30, all in dresses that need an intervention. They are waiting to get on the elevator to Cindy’s for some high class fist pumping.
- Walk up the stairs. The elevator situation is not worth the stress. You’ll need the exercise after this meal anyway.
- Enter lobby of the hotel. More jaw dropping ensues. This may be the most beautiful space in the building.
- Ask concierge for directions to Cherry Circle Room. You’re lost.
- Walk through The Game Room. It feels more like a camp mess hall than a bar, with bocce ball sandboxes, ping pong tables and no music.
- Find Cherry Circle Room in back corner of The Game Room.
- Breathe deeply, order a martini from the tableside martini cart, order the items below.
- Repeat steps 9 and 10 as soon as possible.