More than two years after the targeted space shuttered amidst a flurry of rumors, the move has been confirmed — TAO Group is planning its first concept in Chicago. The glitzy clubstaurant brand, known for its many celebrity-magnet restaurant/nightclub hybrids in New York City and Las Vegas, is officially bringing its first U.S. spot outside of those two cities (and forthcoming L.A. projects) to the former Castle space in River North, a TAO representative confirms.
The restaurant "and more" is in partnership with a local group that the rep declined to name, although Four Corners Tavern Group was brought on for "repositioning and redevelopment" of the space in Feb. 2014, before its shutter in Jan. 2015. There’s no official word yet on whether Four Corners is indeed the local group working with TAO on the new spot in the prominent landmarked building at 632 N. Dearborn St., as Four Corners reps have yet to confirm the group's possible involvement. [UPDATE: A Four Corners Tavern Group representative confirms that they are indeed the local group partnering with TAO.]
The highly-visible (and supposedly haunted) space, despite its historical significance in downtown Chicago, has been home to a variety of nightlife-themed spots besides Castle, including Excalibur and Limelight, so it’s a good fit for TAO’s foray into Chicago and the Midwest. TAO is known for its many clubby concepts, such as TAO Uptown, TAO Downtown, Beauty and Essex, Marquee Nightclub, and many more. It’s also expanding to Los Angeles soon with two new projects.
"Construction zone" signs are currently plastered on windows on the exterior of the former Castle space. Stay tuned for more details on the concept and timeframe for TAO’s Chicago debut.