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CHICAGO MEETINGS NEWS: APRIL 2016

New China route, Jaslin Hotel opening — Get the latest meeting & event planning industry news.

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    AMERICAN AIRLINES INTRODUCING FLAGSHIP LOUNGE AT O’HARE

    American Airlines' international first and business class passengers departing from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport can look forward to a new ultramodern lounge. The world's largest airline will begin construction on a new Flagship Lounge at O'Hare, aiming for completion by spring 2017.

    Learn more about the lounge.


    ICELANDAIR EXPANDING TO CHICAGO, UNVEILING BUDDY SYSTEM

    Icelandair re-introduced nonstop service to Reykjavik, Iceland from Chicago in March and recently announced it is launching a buddy service for passengers who plan on stopping over on the island en route to an Icelandair destination in Europe. The stopover buddy service will give visitors a more authentic experience than might otherwise be possible. Icelandair has set up a dedicated page on its website where travelers can request Iceland-based buddies who shares their interests related to nature, sports, food, culture or something else more exotic.

    Learn more about the new service.


    ROOFTOP BAR AND FIFTY/50 GROUP RESTAURANT COMING TO THE GRAY IN LOOP

    Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant’s latest Chicago property, The Gray, is introducing a rooftop bar with a retractable roof to The Loop this spring. The hotel – named for the 1894 building's original Georgia Gray marble and granite – offers 293 guest rooms and 13 suites along with 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The Fifty/50 Group will bring high-end lobby bar Steadfast to the hotel as well, offering guests a 70-seat restaurant, 20-seat bar and 14-seat wine-tasting room.

    Learn more about the rooftop bar and new restaurant.


    JASLIN HOTEL OPENING SPRING 2016

    Jaslin Hotel, located at 261 W. Cermak Rd., is putting on the finishing touches for its planned opening in Spring 2016. It is located in Chicago's famous Chinatown and steps from McCormick Place, the South Loop and ample public transportation.

    Learn more about the Jaslin Hotel.


    PING-PONG CLUB CO-FOUNDED BY SUSAN SARANDON OPENS

    Put attendees in motion and encourage engagement at Chicago’s latest creative private events venue. SPiN, the ping-pong club co-founded by Susan Sarandon, opened in early March in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The 16,000-square-foot venue features a center court with stadium seating, 20 ping-pong tables, two bars and three private lounge areas. Other outposts are located in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, with a San Francisco location in the works.

    Learn more about  SPiN.


    THE BRASS MONKEY BECOMES PRIVATE EVENTS-ONLY

    Seventies-themed The Brass Monkey has closed to the public and will cater to private events only. The restaurant and bar – attached to popular event space Morgan Manufacturing – can accommodate up to 250 guests. Plans are in the works for chef- and restaurant-run pop-up events to take up one- to two-month residencies as well.

    Learn more about the private events venue.


    12 NEW RESTAURANTS COMING SOON TO CHICAGO

    A new Korean-Polish restaurant opens, a breakfast favorite multiplies, dim sum comes to Little Italy, Cantonese cuisine makes a name and reggae may return to Wrigleyville.

    Learn more about Chicago's culinary news.


    MAYOR EMANUEL, CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE ANNOUNCE NEW THEATER SPACE AT NAVY PIER

    A new performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, is slated to open Fall 2017 at Navy Pier. The $35 million project announcement comes during Navy Pier’s centennial year as part of the city’s commitment to reinvigorate the attraction. The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare will repurpose the former Skyline Stage into a year-round, flexible venue with capacities ranging from 150 to 850. Directors will focus on transforming the space into a world-class resource for education and entertainment.

    Learn more about the new theater.

    Photos: Choose Chicago, Jaslin Hotel