Nobu Hospitality's announcement that it is officially opening a hotel and restaurant in the West Loop is incredibly exciting news for Chicago's growing service industry, but it leaves one question - what will become of the Banksy piece on the side of the Grange Hall Burger Bar building near the northeast corner of Randolph and Peoria? In case you're unfamiliar, Banksy is the pseudonym of an unidentified street artist whose work often sells for more than the value of most of the buildings his art appears on. When a stencil of a baby carriage rolling down a staircase appeared on a West Loop building in May 2010, there was debate of whether the piece was actually the work of the mysterious British street artist. However, the piece was confirmed to be a true Banksy when it appeared on on the artist's official website (which has been shut down since last October).
The Banksy piece on the building is assumed to be an homage to an iconic scene in the Chicago gangster film, The Untouchables, where a baby carriage slowly rolls down a staircase during a shootout between Al Capone's thugs and top cop Eliot Ness in Union Station. And although the piece still stands today, it has certainly weathered a bit over the last four years. Nevertheless, Banksy pieces can easily fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We're still waiting to hear back from the PR group who is working with Nobu on their Chicago hotel and restaurant, just to learn more about the building site, which Crain's predicted last year to be at 846-854 W. Randolph St. We're not sure if the stencil will be completely blocked or painted over, but we're hoping to know soon enough.
[The iconic shootout scene from The Untouchables that the Banksy stencil is believed to pay homage to]
· Nobu Officially Confirms West Loop Hotel For 2016 Opening [Curbed Chicago]
· Banksy Puts a Hit On Chicago: Untouchables Style [The Couch Sessions]