Booth One Replaces Chicago’s Once-Famous Pump Room

Booth One Interior

Christina Slaton

Once a celebrity magnet, the Pump Room has been repurposed into newcomer Booth One.

The historic Ambassador Chicago Hotel, in the city’s Gold Coast area, has a new restaurant in place of the Pump Room, which had been there nearly 80 years before it closed in July. On Nov. 16, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises—a Chicago-based group with more than 120 restaurants spread across several states—opened Booth One, named for the Pump Room’s most exclusive table.

“It was too much fun to turn down as a brand to take the Pump Room space and make it one of the truly instrumental dining rooms of Chicago,” said corporate wine director Richard Hanauer.

Along with Booth One head sommelier Seth Wilson, Hanauer manages the 300-selection wine list, which has 25 wines by the glass. The program focuses on high-acid, low-tannin wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the Burgundian varieties Hanauer feels work best with the “refined” food on the menu.

Lettuce Entertain You owns six Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurants: RPM Steak in Chicago, two locations of RPM Italian and three locations of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.—J.H.