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13-story boutique hotel ready to replace O'Brien's restaurant in Old Town

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A newly issued demolition permit will see the existing building at 1528 N. Wells Street bite the dust

Rendering by Pappageorge Haymes via Chicago DPD

After closing its doors in August of 2016, Old Town staple O'Brien's Restaurant & Bar is finally ready to come down and be redeveloped into a 13-story boutique hotel. The upcoming project comes from Condor Partners, Chicago Development Partners, and local architect Pappageorge Haymes. The team originally presented their plans for the site to community members in late 2015.

With the initial 18-story proposal criticized for being too dense and tall for the neighborhood, a scaled-back, 13-story version of the project was ultimately passed by the Chicago Plan Commission in June of 2016. The approved plan also calls for 60 below grade parking spaces as well as four single family homes to be built on 91-foot by 31-foot lots behind the hotel along Weiland.

O'Brien's Restaurant (and its recognizable green and gold clock) is expected to return, anchoring the development’s ground floor. The new building’s second floor will feature a high-end, white tablecloth restaurant with retractable windows. An open air rooftop bar similar to the Hotel Lincoln's J. Parker is also being explored.

According to signage placed in the window of the old O’Brien’s space, the new development hopes to open for business some time in 2018. With demolition just now starting, it remains to be seen if that earlier timetable is still workable.

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