Long a hangout of A-list celebrities, the Pump Room Restaurant in Chicago remains to be ‘hoppingin the 21st century. The restaurant, memorialized in Frank Sinatra’s classic “Chicago was certainly one of the first high level restaurants to open in Chicago after the Prohibition era. The eatery has seen countless celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, John Barrymore and countless others. For some time, it’s luster faded somewhat as the dining scene in Chicago led by Charlie Trotter passed it by.
The Pump Room opened in8 under the ownership and management of Ernie Blyfield. Blyfield’s inspiration for the name and ambiance of his restaurant was an 18th Century London pub frequented by celebrities and nobility, including Queen Anne. The ‘Pump Roommoniker came from the recent drinks ‘pumpedinto the cocktails of its customers.
Blyfied’s Chicago Pump Room took off immediately, and its most wanted table-‘Booth 1may have been essentially the most desired spot of any dining establishment within the country for a time. Booth 1 was occupied by Sinatra and cronies like Jilly Rizzo, Judy Garland and daughter Liza Minnelli, Clark Gable, John Barrymore in addition to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
After Blyfield’s death in0, the Pump Room lived on as a Chicago hot spot and welcomed a new era of big names including Mel Brooks, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Eddie Murphy. One of the crucial famous stories surrounding the club involves former Genesis drummer Phil Collins, who was refused entry for not wearing a jacket. This inspired the title of his next album ‘No Jacket Requiredwhich has sold over- million copies worldwide and established Collins as a solo superstar. Following its release, the Pump Room sent Collins an apology-and an appropriate jacket for him to wear on his next visit.
Since being purchased by the Dallas Restaurant Group within the late0s, things are hopping again, however. With the extremely talented chef Martial Noguier at the helm (who has worked in the kitchen of plenty of Frances most renown chefs), and a $2 million dollar restoration of the facilities, the Pump Room is back among the rarefied heights of Chicagos best restaurants. Though the flaming food served on a sword that was the Pump Room trademark during its golden era is sadly absent (attributable to city fire codes), the menu is now as much as snuff serving Noguiers sophisticated interpretation of classic American cuisine. In addition to the revamped cuisine, the Pump Room upgraded its wine offering and expanded the bar area.
The Pump Rooms stature has been maintained by current executive chef Nick Sutton. The star of the place, however, remains to be the almost palpable sense of history that the dining room offers. Considering that the giants of civilized culture”from Bogey all the method to the Chairman himself”have held court in that room, it is a fairly intoxicating aura. Fortunately, the Pump Room is once again worthy of such legends, and its renaissance is a victory for culinary civility in a world too often overwhelmed with Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance writer and noted authority on sports betting odds comparison. He writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Northern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He’s currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.
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