Our whole objective is to make people comfortable," says Michael Tracy, founder of the restaurant/nightclub The Living Room. "We thought we'd be successful, but [our concept] has met with a lot more success than we ever thought it would."
The concept Tracy is referring to, put simply, is a meshing of social gathering place and live entertainment site--rolled into one big room. Patrons at either the Lombard or Schaumburg, Illinois, locations ease themselves into overstuffed chairs, relax or converse by the fireplace, play chess, and tune into live music as disparate as Latin and big band. It's a post-twenty-something's alternative to noisy, predatory nightclubs.
Sensing a dearth of social settings for mature consumers, Tracy launched his first Living Room location three years ago. Encouraged by the response, the 42-year-old opened the doors to a second location just last December. This fall, plans call for the opening of a downtown Chicago Living Room, with Atlanta and Boca Raton, Florida, on the list of possible future sites.
"We have a ton of regulars," says Tracy, whose Lombard location sees more than 4,000 people every week. Ahh, the comforts of overstuffed chairs.