The wee hours are prime time in Chicago these days. No matter where you live in the Windy City, there’s probably a friendly neighborhood bar stool within walking distance. Variety is the spice of night life and party, which is why I was sad to hear about Roxy’s closing in east Chicago earlier this year. The club wasn’t my flavor but it had been around since the 1990s, an era when the club scene branched out from the downtown streets to venues such as Visage in north Chicago and Cyberzone on Lee Road.
Roxy’s expansive layout did battle with its occasionally shaky reputation, but club owners kept the crowds coming with a variety of theme nights: Some were inspired (the wild electronic revival Takeovr) and some shady (Monday Night Fights, where clubgoers traded punches for bar tabs).A touch of that “try anything” strategy is evident at GILT, which opened last weekend in the former Roxy space. But I’m betting the owners won’t throw just any old idea at these walls to see if they stick.
The decor is much too pretty. GILT pub does better justice to Roxy’s old floorplan than Roxy ever did, with flourishes that stop just short of being gaudy. Highlights include the multiscreen video wall that dominates the 1,200-square-foot dance floor in the main room, where service awaits at five bar stations.
Framed mirrors and a massive chandelier set the VIP area apart from the hoi polloi on the lower level, while plush couches and a smaller dance floor await on the upper level.