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Living Room, Ottomans, Sofa, Table Lighting, and Ceiling Lighting A straight walk past reception and Café Integral leads to the elevators, which also serves as the entrance to Freehand Chicago’s den. It’s as cozy and dimly lit as you could ever hope, as well as thoughtfully designed with the aesthetic of Chicago and Lake Michigan in mind. Sofas and leather chairs line the perimeter to create pockets of communal lounge spaces, with wood-paneled walls, fireplaces, books, and games making it feel more like a living room than a hotel. A Wurlitzer electric keyboard frames the nook where Freehand hosts musicians, creating an ambiance as conducive to creativity as a celebrated neighborhood coffee shop. 

Up a few steps, behind the den and past the DJ booth, is the Broken Shaker, a mixology bar serving drinks like the Chicago Dog Margarita and the Chi City Mule in glasses as beautiful as the cocktails are delicious. The bar walls are covered with pine tree wallpaper, and the relaxed and refined aesthetic is prevalent in both ambiance and flavor, with local Midwestern ingredients purposing the menu items. Rooms aside, the Freehand Chicago is the place to be in the city’s burgeoning River North neighborhood.  Photo 3 of 6 in A Former Chicago Mafia Haunt Reborn as a Hotel