In a troubled, off-the-beaten-path space under the El tracks at the edge of Chicago’s meatpacking district, Mansion nightclub opened quietly last week. The old space, tucked inconspicuously between warehouses, formerly housed Reserve, whose mobbed-up club investors are facing jail time. Privilege Chicago Nightlife, the new set of owners who also own Lumen and Elm Street Liquors, however, face an entirely different challenge — for starters, keeping a afloat in a location that’s housed two short-lived venues: Theatro and Embassy.
Now the space is home to Mansion, and in a take off the club’s name, plush booths, golden embossing, statues and glossy-framed pictures line the walls, reminiscent of a wealthy estate. Downstairs, clubgoers can lounge in low-slung couches and chairs, while upstairs, the place gets going with live DJs spinning hip-hop, dance and popular beats on Saturdays, the only night the club’s open, for now.
The posh club is angling for a more upscale and youthful crowd with the hope they’re willing to spend money, stay late and dance into the wee hours of the morning. In fact, the crowd consists of a well-heeled mix of mostly twenty-something and some thirty-somethings sporting mini dresses and colorful frocks, high heels. As for the guys? They stick with casual attire, wearing designer jeans and funky T-shirts.
Time will tell if Mansion can break the losing streak in this location and keep these well-groomed Millennials coming back.