Is Dion Antic bringing back Harry's Velvet Room? The lounge, which was one of the hottest spots in the city in the '90s, first lived as a cigar bar (remember when you could smoke indoors?) on Clark Street in the location that then housed Blue Chicago, and eventually moved to 56 W. Illinois, where it remained until it shuttered in 2006 and The Underground moved in.
But now, it looks like Antic is trying to make a comeback for Harry's. While no details have emerged in terms of location or concept, Antic created a Facebook page earlier this year for Harry's. A post on March 31 reads, "Yes Chicago! ... I am coming back!" and the last post, dated April 26, says, "Soon baby soon ... so soon I can touch it!" Additionally, under the "employers" section of his personal Facebook page, it lists Harry's Velvet Room just below Porkchop, which opened last month.
When Antic opened Harry's at 56 W. Illinois, it was the second coming. This would be the third. Earlier in the '90s, Antic pioneered Milwaukee Avenue in River West when he opened late-night spot Iggy's, which thrived until he moved it to Bucktown in the location where the Southern now stands. Years after he shuttered Iggy's second location, Antic attempted to revive it in River North, but that project didn't last long. What would it take to make Harry's successful this time around?
Antic's most successful current project seems to be Bagel on Damen, with two locations, one in Ukrainian Village and another in Ravenswood. According to his personal website, a third location is in the works as is a food truck dubbed Bagel on Wheels.
The second Harry's Velvet Room [Photo: Planet99]
· Harry's Velvet Room [Facebook]
CORRECTION—Antic called to say that he didn't own the River North Iggy's project; rather that is was a licensing deal to a friend.