Karaoke fans in River North have something to look forward to as Blind Dragon — an upscale lounge with locations in LA, Dubai, and Scottsdale, Arizona — should open in late May/early June inside Found Chicago, a 60-room hotel that opened today. The four-floor hotel at 613 N. Wells Street will also house a restaurant, Mason, that will serve steaks dry aged on premises. The hotel also includes a coffee bar, Mason&Mason, with drinks from Dark Matter Coffee and grab-and-go sandwiches and pastries.
While Blind Dragon’s other locations serve tiki drinks, a news release claims the Chicago lounge will differ and serve Asian-inspired beverages using matcha, yuzu, and shiso. They’re still working out the menu of snacks and light bites. The dark bar will feature three private karaoke rooms. The LA location opened in 2015 in West Hollywood from h.wood Group (John Terzian, Brian Toll), well-known for its nightlife empire in Southern California. This is their first Chicago expansion.
Blind Dragon LA has evolved, as menu items in Los Angeles have included soft shell crab sliders with kimchi coleslaw, short-rib bao, and pork ramen. The lounge will be co-owned by h.wood and Innovative Dining Group (which brought another LA import, Katana, to Chicago). This is no karaoke dive, but a posh spot to belt out some tunes. The company’s LA spots are hotspots for Hollywood celebrities. John Sofio’s Built Hospitality Design Group, which designed projects including Pink Taco and the Peppermint Club in LA, is creating the space.
Terzian told the Tribune that they’re not trying to transform Chicago to LA. To prove that, they went with Dark Matter to create some local credibility. He’s in charge of the hotel’s branding and food and beverage components. They describe Mason as a contemporary steakhouse. They’ll serve items including dry-aged steaks, squash cavatelli with crab, and more.
Found Chicago is a unique hotel that includes nine shared rooms — one reserved for women. It’s a way the hotel industry can combat services like Airbnb. Upscale food and beverage amenities is another way they can lure customers.
Check back for more details in the coming weeks.