Primary | Preview
Nightclubs in Chicago often get face-lifts. Before there was Bodi, there was Stone Lotus. Before Dolphin, Green Dolphin Street, before Bevy, Tzar—the quickest example of out with the old, in with the new. Many of these underwent dramatic renovations to become their current incarnations, but it's Primary (5 W Division St, 312-951-9001, primarybar.com), the new DJ-driven boutique club and cocktail bar opening this weekend in the former Funk Groove Lounge, that has undergone the most dramatic transformation, from tourist-trap nightclub to what could prove to be a forward-thinking and chic new addition to the city's dance-music offerings.
The work of area promoters and scene constants Derek Salter, Matt Edgar and Dylan Castle, Primary boasts a a finely tuned Void sound system—a step up even from the Funktion One systems that dominate respected outposts like Smart Bar and the Mid—a 30-foot-long LED screen glowing behind a custom DJ booth and a long, sleek bar that promises a craft cocktail menu. Open Wednesday through Saturday with a late-night license, Primary is also promising low cover charges.
Beyond being a new place to cut a rug to cutting-edge DJs like Rehab regular PHNM, Castle in his Gun Love guise, Mettle (Salter's music alter ego) and Avi Sic, the space is an ever-changing artistic endeavor. "Consider this place to be a think tank for the club scene," Salter says via e-mail. The goal is for Primary to be ever-changing and "inspired by music, culture, interior design and state-of-the-art sound and lighting." The team considers this weekend to be the first of many grand openings. "We never plan to be done," Salter adds.
After officially opening its doors last night, the party continues tonight and tomorrow with a DJ set from indie-dance act Hey Champ (tonight) and one from twin house DJ duo Milk n' Cookies (Saturday).