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News / Nightlife

Take a look inside Tao Chicago's ornate River North nightclub

Tao Chicago
Photograph: Grace DuVal

The Chicago outpost of nightclub and restaurant hybrid Tao, which boasts locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York, will open its doors on Monday, September 17. Housed in a River North building that originally hosted the Chicago Historical Society—and was more recently used by nightclubs such as Excalibur and Castle—the space has been entirely overhauled and filled with Asian-inspired artwork and decor.

Ahead of the concept's official opening, we got an exclusive sneak peek inside Tao's nightclub, a 7,000-square-foot space that resides on the building's second floor. Guests enter the club through a set of 100-year-old Chinese doors located in an alley adjacent to the building, before ascending to the second floor where they'll encounter the venue's “host wall,” lined with a series of lucky cat figurines that wave their arms.

The 1,000-person capacity nightclub can operate as two separate rooms or be combined into one gigantic room via a removable wall. On one end of the space, you'll find private booths, a bar and a lounge area (complete with its own bar) that leads to the venue's restrooms. The other end of the space hosts Tao's dance floor and DJ booth, situated beneath a ten-foot Japanese bell outfitted with a disco ball as well as a towering 20-foot-tall mural created by British street artist Hush.

Accents such as custom wall sconces and laced chandeliers accent some of the buildings original architecture, including arches (which have been adorned with LED lighting), exposed brick and arched windows. Tao Chicago is the first iteration of the concept that has incorporated windows into its nightclub—a testament to the structural beauty of the existing building.

Tao's nightclub will celebrate its opening weekend on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, welcoming guests into the space for the first time with performances by some high-profile DJs. DJ Ruckus will step into the venue's booth on Friday, while EDM superstar Deadmau5 will headline the club on Saturday night. Tao's Vegas, Los Angeles and New York locations have established themselves as nightlife destinations, so expect even more heavyweight bookings in the future.

For now, Tao's nightclub will operate on Fridays from 10pm to 4am and Saturdays from 10pm to 5am. If you don't want to get stuck waiting in line, you can reserve a table via Tao's website.

Check out some exclusive photos of the newest entry in Chicago's nightclub scene below. 

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

Tao Chicago

Photograph: Grace DuVal

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