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Famed Restaurant Pump Room Is Officially Dead; Long Live 'Booth One'

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 7, 2017 3:42PM

From "The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places," published in 1950.

In July, we got the news that Lettuce Entertain You was taking over the Pump Room. That famous Chicago eatery has had a troubled recent history, closing several times and rebranding/reconcepting to no great success. Now, we know what's going to happen with the restaurant, and it's not going to be the Pump Room anymore.

A spokesperson for Lettuce let me know this morning that the restaurant will now be called Booth One, named after the famous booth in ... the Pump Room. My favorite part of the announcement? The words "Pump Room" do not appear in it, despite the fact that the new spot is named after something from the old restaurant, and photos from the old restaurant are all over the website. That took some really creative writing.

"Drawing inspiration from the legendary restaurant at the former Ambassador East Hotel..."

"The iconic restaurant featured one of the most famous booths in restaurant history..."

Yes. That "legendary" and "iconic" restaurant is the Pump Room. Someone in marketing decided that it was best to just forget the old name and move on, and that's kind of a shame.

My jabs at the announcement aside, there's not a ton of information available yet about the spot, apart from generic "it'll be a restaurant" language. Booth One "celebrates fun, social dining with modern interpretations of classical dishes and ever-changing daily specials." Honestly, I hope it will be a typical LEY interpretation of a supper club, a genre they do well. Anything that brings that Gold Coast space back to life again will be welcome.