share
by Michael C. Lowe | May 25, 2011

Ian Schrager is launching a new "accessible luxury" hotel brand, Public, that will target visitors seeking value and affordability in a high-quality product. Public Chicago will be the brand's first property and will open this fall in the former 285-room Ambassador East, which was built in 1926 in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, from the 2011 James Beard Best New Restaurant ABC Kitchen in New York, will head a new take on the property's original restaurant, The Pump Room, which hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart. In addition, the hotel's Library will feature communal work tables and computer stations in a coffee-bar setting by day, and a lounge and bar offering specialty cocktails and small plates from Jean-George by night; the adjacent candlelit Backroom will function as an entertainment lounge for private screenings, video installations and performances. The property also will include 10 meeting rooms. Schrager hopes his latest concept will be a "wake-up call" for the hospitality industry by creating a new class of hotel defined by the unique experience it creates rather than a price point or business classification. Plans to expand Public to other cities have not yet been released.