Nightlife

The Back Room Gets a Reprieve In The Drawing Room’s Former Privet Space

Privet, soon to be The Back Room.
Privet, soon to be The Back Room.

Chicago’s nightlife is littered with the ghosts of neighborhoods whose names have outlived their scene, and Rush Street seems to be heading that way as developers buy up its last iconic spots (and historic buildings) to replace them with generic boxes containing chain restaurants and retailers. That was the story the Sun-Times told last week about two of the last Rush Street music clubs, Jilly’s and The Back Room, whose building was bought by developer Sergio & Banks. Whose owner Grace Sergio gave a succinct summation of the developers “find somewhere that’s happening and kill it” mentality to Chicago Real Estate Daily: “It’s all real estate — it’s the highest and best use of the property.” We’ll try to remember that when we go to get a new battery for our cell phone where a great jazz club used to be, but in the meantime, at least one of them got a reprieve: The Back Room will be moving into a space which has recently been something called Privet (we see a problem with telling a date “Let’s go to the Privet”) but was perhaps best known as Le Passage, which is adjacent to (and owned by the same people as) the much more popular The Drawing Room. Anne Spilotro, who owned the back Room with her late husband for 44 years, will consult, but the new Back Room will be managed by the Drawing Room team.

Privet closed last Sunday; The Back Room’s last night in its old spot will be September 24, and it will reopen October 5, benefiting from a later liquor license to schedule jazz and blues till 1 am and deejaying it till 4 am. There will also be food; Rodney Staton, who took over The Drawing Room’s kitchen after opening The Ogden and stints at Longman & Eagle and Bite Cafe, will create a menu for it (but has just started planning it, according to 312 Dining Diva). [Eater/312 Dining Diva]

The Back Room Gets a Reprieve In The Drawing Room’s Former Privet Space