The Ace Hotel Chicago, the Fulton Market property that opened four years ago with a restaurant from Giant chef Jason Vincent, will close at the end of January. The move announced Wednesday night via Instagram after Crain’s reported the property was sold to Vancouver, B.C.-based Onni Group.
January 26 is when “Ace Hotel Chicago will be leaving the building,” according to the property’s Instagram account. The space is across the street from Google’s Chicago headquarters, north of Randolph Restaurant Row, and developers are hoping for a real estate boom after the pandemic. Guinness plans to open a nearby brewpub in 2023. Onni’s plans for the space aren’t clear, as Crain’s reported the deal is for about $63 million. Sources say Onni has interviewed a few of Chicago’s more renowned restaurant groups to make over the food and beverage space.
An Ace spokesperson provided the following statement:
Sterling Bay recently made the decision to sell the property which houses Ace Hotel Chicago. With the sale of the building comes the end of Ace’s tenure in the space, which includes Little Wild and Lovage. Effective January 26, 2022, the hotel will no longer be part of the Ace Hotel Group.
We have loved being a part of Chicago’s innovative and rich cultural landscape, and have deep gratitude for every staff member, guest and collaborator who helped bring our space to life in the West Loop. Chicago and its people are dear to our hearts and we hope to return to the city before too long.
After City Mouse, vacated the space in early October 2020 due to pandemic challenges, Alinea Group planned to take over for a residency, That was thwarted after Chicago suspended indoor dining for a second time in later that month with COVID-19 rates increasing.
When plans with Alinea disintegrated, the Ace reopened its restaurant space with a simple name, the Lobby. It featured the same gas station sandwich served at City Mouse. Chicago hotels have struggled during the pandemic, as shown by another nearby closure announced Wednesday. Rye Deli & Drink is taking a hiatus until early spring at the Crowne Plaza West Loop Hotel. Most restaurants are facing labor challenges, however, many workers at hotels are unionized, which generally provides for better wages and conditions versus standalone restaurants. Winter isn’t prime travel season in Chicago, which presents another challenge for hotels which saw tourism increase during the summer which took a little of the sting from the lack of business in 2020 brought on by the pandemic.
Beyond the ground-floor restaurant, Ace Hotel also had a seventh-floor bar, the Waydown, with craft cocktails and aerial views of the city. Over the summer, it was rebranded as Little Wild. The space also had a coffeeshop when it opened that was operated by Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The location gave the Portland, Oregon coffee maker its only Chicago post.