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Pump Room to Stay Pump Room

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 23, 2011 2:40PM

pump room_0001.jpeg Well, that feels oddly pointless. Two weeks ago, we reported that Ian Schrager, the new owner of the former Ambassador East, was going to let Chicagoans vote on a new name for the iconic Pump Room restaurant. It would either stay the Pump Room or get the totally lame new name "Gold Coast Kitchen." According to the Sun-Times, Chicago has spoken - 95% of the 20,000 votes were for Pump Room.

So... aside from giving Schrager's new venture a ton of free publicity (which we are obviously also part of), what did this accomplish? Clearly Chicagoans love the idea of the Pump Room, as part of their history and heritage. But they didn't love it enough to actually go there when it was still open, otherwise it wouldn't have been gutted and dismantled. Was it actually possible that anyone with a brain would vote for "Gold Coast Kitchen" or was this just a device to create faux-outrage? Here's hoping the new restaurant concept, said to be "reasonably priced" and headed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, will be more compelling.