Expansions & Renovations

Menin Hotels to Open Drumbar Atop the Raffaello Hotel in Chicago

Rooftop Bars Are the Latest Trend

CHICAGO, IL – May 25, 2012 – Drumbar takes the speakeasy-style bar to the next level — 200 feet up to be exact. Perched atop the 18th floor of the Raffaello Hotel located at 201 E. Delaware Place, Drumbar is the latest addition to the city’s nightlife scene. Boasting an intimate lounge area, an outside rooftop terrace, and an ever-evolving cocktail menu, this vibrant new lounge from Menin Hotels offers guests a modern take on a classic cocktail experience.

“The drinking scene has matured in Chicago, and people are looking for something more elevated and grown-up than the ubiquitous contemporary sports bar or nightclub,” says Jared Galbut, Managing Partner of Menin Hotels, which manages the Raffello Hotel among many Miami-based properties. “We love the warmth of Chicago, which is the defining trait of Drumbar, but we’re also offering a place that is modern, sexy, and with the open-air environs reminiscent of South Beach.” Menin Hotels plans to open a second location above their newest South Beach hotel property Gale, both set to open in December.

At the helm of Drumbar is Benjamin Newby, one of Chicago’s most celebrated and recognizable operators and mixologists, who has been named Vice President of Nightlife for the hotel group, and will also open up Menin’s second location of Drumbar inside the Gale Hotel in South Beach. Newby joins Menin after a successful five years at one of Chicago’s hottest clubs, The Underground, where he helped the club earn the title of “Best in the U.S.” by Nightclub and Bar Magazine, and will bring his award-winning cocktails and distinctly British charm to the new hideaway rooftop lounge. Newby plans to bring his signature “tableside mixology program,” to Drumbar.

Design/Concept:
The existing architecture of the historic Rafaello Hotel, built in 1925, provided much of the inspiration for the atmosphere of Drumbar. Designed by Jun Aizaki of Crème Design, Aizaki says, “We wanted to preserve and respect the inherent historical elements of the space, which boasts soaring ceilings and 14’ high arched windows, but also add a some modern touches, creating a nice balance of old meets new.”

Interior:
Upon arriving at the 18th floor of the hotel, guests are welcomed into the warmly lit indoor space and greeted by a white marble bar where cocktails are the focus. Opposite the main bar, groups can find sanctuary in one of the dark alcoves, luxuriously furnished with tufted leather banquettes, one of which offers an antique fireplace. The lounge area, or ‘Great Room,’ is a dramatic space east of the main bar, boasts 20’ high ceilings, dark wood panels, and a custom designed antique brass light fixture. A cluster of leather sofas offer guests a cozy yet social cocktail environment, and for those looking for a more discreet experience, a smaller bar is tucked away in the corner of the Great Room. Walls are wrapped in woven gold-flecked wallpaper, and the wood panel ceiling is reminiscent of the hotel’s original woodwork.

The Main Terrace:
A dramatic arched doorway off the Great Room will open in warm months, framing a 1,500 square foot outdoor terrace. The open space blends in with the fabric of neighboring architecture, and lends views of Lake Michigan and the Hancock Building. Comfortable built-in lounge seating borders the space, and two fireplaces are surrounded by more seating and verdant landscaping. Through a small corridor off the Great Room, a semi-private room offers city views in three directions and completely private access to the outside terrace, creating a balance of scenery and seclusion. A second terrace will be available for private parties and events in later months.

The Drinks:
The beverage program at Drumbar will focus on whiskys, bourbons and scotches, and will offer a seasonal cocktail menu created by Newby. The cocktails will embody Ben's heartfelt and experience-led concepts when it comes to mixology. He will be creating innovative yet accessible drinks to be enjoyed by both the connoisseur and the person looking for a great libation. Newby will also bring his signature tableside mixology to the new lounge, for seated groups looking for a drinking experience beyond bottle service or cocktailing.

Small plates courtesy of Michelin-rated Chef Mauro Mafrici’s Pelago will be available for those looking with cravings beyond thirst.

Hours of operation will be: Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit www.drumbar.com, or call 312.924.2531. Follow drumbar on twitter at @drumbarchi.

About Menin Hotels:
Menin Hotels, with locations in Miami Beach and Chicago, has become a fixture in the hospitality world, capturing the essence of luxury and innovation in each of its properties. Cousins Keith Menin and Jared Galbut, who serve as partners of the company, truly understand what it means to be a hotelier. With a lifetime of experience in this family-owned business, they lead with professionalism and expertise in all of their endeavors. As a hospitality management company, Menin Hotels provides operational services within the realms of purchasing, finance, revenue, renovations, food & beverage, human resources, sales & marketing and information technology to branded full-service hotels, luxury resorts, conference center hotels, underperforming hotels, condominium hotels and independent hotels. With a strong presence throughout the South and the Midwest, and a new location in South Beach opening in Fall 2012, Menin Hotels is quickly expanding into becoming one of the most sought after hospitality management corporations in the United States.

About crème:
crème is a cutting-edge, Brooklyn based creative design firm that offers architectural, interior, graphic, and custom furniture design services. Founded by Jun Aizaki in 2004, crème’s studio is a collaboration of young, international designers and creative professionals that work globally on a range of projects including; private residences, restaurants and retail stores. In Fall 2009, crème was awarded a Wave of the Future Award by Hospitality Design magazine. Recently completed work includes Red Farm (NYC), La Promenade (NYC), Distrito (AZ), and Vesper American Brasserie in Miami’s Shelborne Hotel.

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Optimizing Income Streams Across All Avenues
The role of Revenue Managers, within their profession and the organizations they serve, continues to evolve. A significant portion of the change is driven by technological innovation which, given its magnitude in today’s markets, also redefines their standing on the hotel team. Revenue Managers are moving away from being exclusively spreadsheet-centric and finding better ways to share their data. This shift also requires them to engage more directly with their sales, marketing, and operations departments. Part of this development is due to a reassessment of their metrics for success. Revenue was previously the sole factor by which success was determined but now there is a greater emphasis on price optimization, profitability and flow through. Managers are combining sales, marketing and revenue management, and then adopting a data approach to optimize their income streams across all avenues. This metric evaluates performance in all revenue streams and then calculates the gross operating profit per available room. Hotels are now measuring everything a guest does - and spends money on - from the time he books until the moment he checks out. In addition, Revenue Managers will soon be able to shift their focus from room availability to the guest and his ability to pay. A future revenue management system might take into account things like weather forecasts, the recent online activity of the guest, the guest profile and persona, time of booking, the mode of travel and the fare paid. It might also calculate all the previous stays for this guest, and how much was spent on their room and in the hotel. All of this will be compared to millions of other potential future reservations to determine a unique room and rate for a specific individual guest. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these developments and document how some hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.