This hotel/hostel hybrid, opened in early 2017, takes its conceptual cue from Chicago Park District fieldhouses—the winter-proof buildings that serve as recreation and community centers. The Instagram-baiting decor makes heavy use of repurposed athletic equipment like old scoreboards and gymnasium bleachers; an installation hanging over the lobby is made up of 400 wooden tennis rackets. Think of the aesthetic as the Chicago Athletic Association’s kid brother.
The room selection might not make FieldHouse Jones your first pick for a staycation: Apart from a couple of queen and full rooms, most of the private rooms contain bunk beds. We stayed in “The Ultrastar,” a long, narrow room with full-size bunks and a mini-kitchen with a sink, microwave, refrigerator and dishes in the cabinets for use. The flatscreen TV mounted on the wall opposite the beds feels a little incongruous; this is a room made for sleeping, not lounging. But loft-style apartments and two-bedroom suites, which sleep up to eight people, could make a fun homebase for when you have a big group of out-of-towners visiting for Lollapalooza or a college reunion.
FieldHouse Jones goes a step further in the hostel direction with its shared “dorm rooms,” each outfitted with four bunks, lockers and an en suite bathroom—the latter a step up from traditional hostels, at least. (In a nod to the building’s history as a Borden Dairy Depot, the hotel refers to these as “Borden Beds;” women’s accommodations are called “Elsie Jones” and men’s rooms “Elmer Jones,” after Borden’s bovine mascots.)
Dropshot Coffee Bar in the lobby serves espresso and matcha drinks and snacks including 5411 Empanadas; a bar, the Janitor’s Closet Speakeasy, is still forthcoming. There’s also a huge demo kitchen and laundry in the basement for guest use, as well as a rec room with giant-size slot-car courses, Ping-Pong, air hockey and foosball. Want to play some games of (slightly) more recent vintage? Head a block south to Headquarters Beercade. —KV