Fans of TAO — the clubby, pan-Asian giant with 20 locations in New York, Las Vegas, Sydney, and Los Angeles (soon)—will have to wait until early next year for its Chicago entry. TAO Chicago will open in early 2018, according to a Bloomberg report that examined the operations of the company that runs the highest-grossing independent restaurant in New York and third highest-grossing in the United States.
Earlier this year—after rumors for two years—the official news broke that TAO was taking over the iconic and towering River North space that housed Castle and Excalibur nightclubs at 632 N. Dearborn St. Workers built the former Chicago Historical Society HQ in 1882 and it comes complete with ghost stories. However, TAO’s locations are usually haunted by celebrities and others dialed into the club scene: booze makes up about half of TAO’s sales, according to Bloomberg. The average check is $75 and food’s available until 2 a.m., while dancing continues until 4 a.m. Decadent options, like an $800 live crab, are also available.
TAO is partnering locally with Four Corners Tavern Group (SteakBar, Benchmark, Fremont, Federales) on the site. Back in February, reps said the two partners were working on a new restaurant “and more.” The Bloomberg report mentioned “they’ll open a Tao and a new concept in Chicago.” However, a TAO rep said that “at this time the only planned opening is TAO.” Stay tuned for more intel.