Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Go to Manor . . . Stay for more . . .

Stay, Manor's upper-level, late-night lounge, offers a more cool-out vibe than its clubby downstairs sibling. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

Got an exclusive, sneak preview this afternoon of three of the hottest spots to hit River North this summer:

Those guys behind RiNo and Manor are already sitting pretty with two of the biggest celebrity hangouts in the 'hood. Now comes their latest—Stay—which aims for a high-end clientele looking for low-key action. The top-level lounge to Manor has a separate entrance on Erie Street, its own deejay cranking out chilled-out beats and no bottle service requirements (!!!). And the best thing about it?! They're keeping the decor simple with understated, yet refined hard wood accents and a booming sound system that'll jack the party up when you need it to. 4am during the week; 5am Saturdays. Look for Stay to open later this summer.

Hub 51 has gotten mad media attention within the last few days, but nothing's been said about the lower-level bar called Sub 51. It's a simple room, looking like the perfect spot to throw a basement bash, with cushy leather sofas and dim lights so you can push up on a sig other. But co-owner R.J. Melman's fave seats—and ours too!—are tucked away behind the bar, and no one will ever know you're there unless you want them to. It's the perfect cove for a couple. Hub 51/Sub 51 officially opens on Friday.

Hub 51's subterranean lounge Sub 51 offers one of the sexiest hidden nooks in town. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

And Donnie Kruse changed up his gastropub BB's for something completely different in Madame Tartine. If you were around when he owned Butterfield 8, then you've got the idea. But this time, he's stepped it up . . . way, way up . . . with a seductive French theme that's a nod to the 1960s. Check the vintage fixtures, wallpaper, artwork and music, but don't go expecting something fuddy duddy. That's all we're saying, for now. Madame Tartine opens in early July.

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