A venerable hideaway in River North, near Chicago and Larrabee, the Motel Bar has been closed for a spell. For 12 years before, the bar — modeled after a ‘70s hotel lobby drinking hole — served cheap food and was a comfy spot for a cocktail or shot of Malört. Now the owners of Benchmark and Federales have taken over and remodeled the space. The new iteration of Motel Bar debuts tonight at 600 W. Chicago Avenue.
The new owners, Four Corners, have added new seating and TVs. It won’t have the youthful exuberance of Federales, where patrons throw shot glasses at a bell. This is a more tranquil spot where customers can have conversations. Or they could play foosball on an oversized table with eight handles, ideal for two on a side — no more elbowing a teammate.
They enlisted Siren Betty Design to reinvent the 2,200-square-foot space and there’s also a 60-seat patio. The main layout remains the same, and that’s not a bad thing. Walk through the space below. Motel Bar is open with a new menu.
The Motel Bar, 600 W. Chicago Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday.