Enjoy a drink in the clouds: the description itself gives a sense of pure relaxation. If you do this while looking at Lake Michigan, in the third tallest skyscraper in Chicago (and the seventh in the United States), you can add wonder to relax and there’s nothing better.
But let’s start from the beginning: what is 360 Chicago?
It is located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, at 875 N Michigan Avenue. It is a real immersive experience in the city, because it not only offers a 360° view – hence the name – of the Windy City, but it’s also one of the most beautiful places in the world from which to admire the sunset and it hosts the TILT, among the highest adrenaline experiences in the world. I will tell you about it in a dedicated article, but these hints already seem excellent reasons to visit it during a trip to Chicago!
On 2022 September 22nd in this extraordinary location, a new bar was opened: the CloudBar, a bar among the clouds, as the name suggests, as it is located on the 94th floor!
Created and inaugurated by Magnicity, the Parisienne company which created the most important and innovative solutions to experience cities from above, the CloudBar represents a new bar concept, which envisions it as a channel through which tourist destinations present local artisans and products to promote the best authenticities of the city.
“We want every Magnicity location to act as a true city ambassador for our guests, encouraging the exploration of the most lively districts and creating new adventures and experiences.”
Alexia Vettier, Magnicity CEO
For this reason, the Cloud Bar is much more than a bar: it is an exclusive showcase of Chicago producers and artisans. Representing the craftsmanship of the city is a goal that 360 Chicago has always pursued, investing 14 million dollars (of which 2 in the CloudBar) to represent the most authentic part of Chicago in every aspect, to give its hosts authentic experiences that make you feel like real Chicagoans.
To arrive at the bar guests have to take an elevator ride that lasts 42 seconds. Here, in addition to the exciting view of Chicago, hosts can get lost in observing the sky, feeling a part of it, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows and also to the idea of the design team of the Gettys Group Chicago, which has chosen to extend the effect inside the bar, with reflective surfaces, mirrored ceiling and back wall, smoked mirror bar counter… an immersive design that gives guests the feeling of floating mid-air. Plus, there are seats in front of an entire wall of windows, to enjoy a drink overlooking the city. Furniture and lighting are modern and European in style, with the soft green of the upholstery – according to Ji Hyun Kim, director of Gettys Interiors – reflecting Chicago sensibilities and harks back to the Magnicity brand.
Art is a very important design element in the CloudBar, as it is for Chicago itself, a breeding ground of art and culture, full of phenomenal street art, including that of Lauren Asta, a Chicago-based traveling muralist/artist. Specializing in freehand illustration, whimsical art and street murals, she has created inspirational works in Chicago on over 40 walls, such as the giant murals in West Town, Pilsen and the West Loop. And she herself was in charge of creating original graphics for the CloudBar, visible throughout the bar and on the dividers that define the space for private events. Each drawing represents something of Chicago, from its personalities to world-recognized architecture and so much more.
As I said before, food and drinks are also strictly local.
It even has a beer brewed exclusively for the CloudBar – Magnicity Pilsner – by Moody Tongue, the first brewery in the world to have two Michelin stars. Other notable partners include Kit Kat Lounge&Supper Club, Vosges Chocolate, Garrett Popcorn, Carol’s Cookies and Kikwetu Coffee Company, all of which are local businesses, allowing them to share products and stories to connect with guests.
The CloudBar menu is inspired by the culture and cocktails of many of the city’s neighborhoods. Guests will be able to savor the true flavors of Chicago while visiting 360 Chicago and also take home many of the best foods in the city with a wide selection of carefully packaged items for purchase.
“We recognize that food and drink unite communities and we want to reinforce and amplify everything visitors and locals love about our city by exposing our guests to Chicago’s iconic tastes and new and unique experiences of unknown flavors.”
Jennifer Hesser, assistant general manager for 360 CHICAGO
Soon in the CloudBar, it will be possible to find combinations that specifically speak of the neighborhoods: a dessert and two or three cocktails that will be delivered with a descriptive card that informs the visitor about how it is made and about the history of the neighborhood and the seller, thus donating an unusual culture about Chicago but also a beautiful memory.
10 of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods will be presented, in turn, throughout the year.
3 of 77: The soul of the Midwest
In addition to presenting the CloudBar, 360 Chicago will also unveil the extraordinary tale by local director Harvey Pullings II. Pulling’s most recent work is a documentary titled 3 of 77: The Soul Of The Midwest. This documentary exclusively commissioned by 360 Chicago is presented by Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block My Hood My City, a non-profit organization that has also helped coordinate the content. The film tells viewers about three different neighborhoods: Bronzeville, Lakeview and Pilsen, and it does so through the lens of small businesses based in those neighborhoods.
Small businesses and local cultural institutions share the culture that distinguishes each neighborhood through their stories. A photographic exhibition titled The Culture: 3 of 77 supports the film, with portraits of prominent residents representing and influencing the characterization of each neighborhood.
“Both CloudBar and the exclusive documentary 3 of 77: The Soul Of The Midwest represent a continuation and expansion of our decades-long commitment to sharing the stories of the people, communities and artisans that define our neighborhoods and the city of Chicago. Our additional investment will attract not only tourists, but also young professionals looking for a strong local experience while at the same time enabling small businesses to gain exposure to the international guests we attract. It’s a win for everyone. “
Nichole Benolken, managing director of 360 Chicago
Photos- courtesy of 360 Chicago.