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As The Chicago Magic Lounge Nears Opening, Secrets Are Revealed About The Unique Space

The new Chicago Magic Lounge at 5050 N. Clark is promising to offer a unique venue that will be rooted in not only magic history, but also Chicago history. Channeling Schulien’s, the world’s first true magic restaurant which closed in 1999 after an 84-year run, the theatre is hoping to become a new destination in Andersonville.

The new theatre has been on-time and on-budget according to Joey Cranford, Chicago Magic Lounge Co-owner. The venue includes a grand 120-seat cabaret theatre with mezzanine, a 43-seat close-up theatre in the back and two bars.

“We want to reintroduce adults to magic,” Said  Cranford. “The Chicago Magic Lounge will really be a one-of-a-kind for the country and possibly the world. There is no one else that I know of that offers a 7,200 sq. ft. magic facility with different performance areas for bar magic, cabaret-style magic and close-up magic. The experience will be so unique.”

The entrance to the lounge will be very discreet, in fact most people driving by will think that the property is something that it is not. An unmarked door will lead into what appears to be a laundromat in the front of the building. But in order to delay the customers magic experience, they must figure out the secret that will lead them into the venue’s main two-story, art deco library bar which will be adorned with books and artifacts from magic past.

“Once in the library bar, there will be another secret entrance into the cabaret theatre,” Cranford added. “The deeper you go into the building, the more experiences you will have. But you will have a steward to help you through the process.”

The main Blackstone Theatre

There also is a full kitchen that will serve up-scale appetizers during the performances. The food will also include many German food items found on the old Schulien’s menu including potato pancakes, sirloin sliders and a sausage tray.

The front library bar, which opens at 5 p.m., is where one can see there first glimpse of bar magic and order a signature cocktail. At 7:30 p.m. the audience will be able to take their seat in the Blackstone Theatre (named after the famous Chicago-area magicians Harry Blackstone Sr. and his son Harry Blackstone Jr.) and enjoy a full hour of up-close table magic followed by the cabaret show. Cranford says there will be several packages to choose from including an exclusive upgrade that will allow you into the backstage 654 club for additional fun. On Fridays and Saturdays there will be an extra late night show. On Sundays they will have a kid-friendly matinee for the post-brunch crowd.

“I get a lot of people saying that their children love magic, and I’m like of course they love it because they’re kids,” explained Cranford. “But what we want is for the adults to find magic again. We see such a need for adults who want something fun and different to do and we are happy to introduce them to modern, sophisticated up-close magic.”

Cranford, who is also a long-time area resident is expecting to open the doors to the Chicago Magic Lounge mid-February.

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