On the table: LaSalle Power Co.
The massive building at 500 North LaSalle Street has been a lot of things—it was once a cable car powerhouse and during the ’90s it was Michael Jordan's restaurant. On May 1, the former Lalo's space opens up as a 20,000-square-foot tri-level bar-restaurant-venue dubbed LaSalle Power Co. You might not have heard about it because Ivan Torres and David Mitria don't seem to believe in overhyping themselves—and they've been busy as hell getting their latest venture off the ground.
I've just taken a look at the space, and I'm impressed that the owners of the nearby
English aren't slouching on the sound. The live room can hold 300 or more, has a sound system by Martin plus fantastic sight lines—and affords lead singers the option of strutting from the stage straight onto a bar. Actually, that might not be the best feature.
The decor is a mix of hand-painted crests from an artist known only as "Maestro" and collages of real collectable rock posters plus giant globe lights and bars backed by huge plasmas. Massive chandeliers will hang in the foyer. There are several private-party rooms available and an extensive backstage area for bands. The owners have maintained the building's tile floors throughout, and it achieves a nice comfortable, not-too-new-but-comfortably-funky feel. On level two, LaSalle Power Co. will serve rockin' diner food—as in breakfast anytime. In May, it will be booking rock and cover acts Thursday through Saturday for its upper tier. There's no cover unless there's a big headlining ticketed act coming through town. They've got Chicago's own Hey Champ booked already and some hot cover acts and L.A. glam rock bands in mind too for gigs, too. Opening an enormous new venue in River North may seem like a risky venture right now, but outside of House of Blues, the area doesn't have much in the way of a live rock venue.