May/June 'Secret Source' Blake Smith Shares His Go-To Chicago Spots

| May 31, 2019 | People

For our May/June edition of "Secret Source," Blake Smith of Virgin Hotels shares his plans for summer, current obsessions and more.

Photo by Jodie Zeitler/courtesy of Blake Smith

President of entertainment and partnerships, Virgin Hotels (203 N. Wabash Ave., 312.940.4400)

Lincoln Square. “It’s the ideal habitat for aging indie rockers like myself. There’s an indie bookstore (The Book Cellar), indie record store (Laurie’s Planet of Sound), indie restaurants (Gather and The Warbler) and an indie bar (the Germanic wormhole Huettenbar)—say hello to ace bartender Wolf Masterson while you’re there). The latest census found that the number of people in their 40s in Pavement T-shirts pushing strollers here is 18 percent above the national average.”

“Any of the city’s great small music venues. The Burlington, Empty Bottle, Schubas and Sleeping Village are all treasures. Metro might be the greatest club on Earth. I wind up seeing a lot of shows by JAM Productions; those guys are tremendous. We have it so good here.”

Virgin Hotels San Francisco just opened, and I intend to spend many hours on the rooftop ‘working and testing out the beverage program.’ The views are spectacular.”

“I recently tried riced cauliflower and am now hooked on ricing. I’ve riced broccoli, a couch, asparagus and a Hamilton ticket with mixed results. Not everything tastes like rice when you rice it.”

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