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Chicago Signature Lounge Open Letter

After visiting the Signature Lounge, part of the Signature Room, located in Chicago’s John Hancock building, I felt compelled to write this letter.  Both the service and product were poor and left my friends and I greatly underwhelmed.

To Whom It May Concern,

A little over a month ago on May 22nd, my best friend and I were entertaining two friends from out of town.  None of use had ever been to the signature lounge so we thought we could give it a try and see what all they hype was about.

Our first impressions while waiting in line were good; there were many staff members to direct customers through the lines and bring them upstairs, and they were all well dressed.

It wasn’t too long after we were seated that our server, Adri P., took our drink order.  Even though the wait wasn’t too terribly long, it was still much longer than one would expect given the expectations a $15 drink would bring.  Waiting for our drinks to arrive gave us the same feeling.

We were very underwhelmed when our drinks finally came. If you were unaware, the cocktails served at the Signature Lounge are quite low in alcohol content.  The presentation was decent, but that doesn’t make up for the fact we received what many would consider $15 virgin drinks.

Personally, I ordered a strawberry smoothie as I was not in the mood for a drink with alcohol.  Although it had excess drink running down the side of the glass, the smoothie was garnished nicely when it was served.  Unfortunately, the sweetness was so strong I could barely drink it.  The drink reminded my friend of catsup because it had so much corn syrup in it.

After quite some time, the server unenthusiastically came over to ask if everything was alright, and I told her I was unhappy with the smoothie. She explained they were made by a machine and that the bartender had little control over the dilution of the concentrate.  I was surprised to hear a machine was responsible for mixing the drink when the menu describes the drink as containing real strawberries.  How does a machine cut real strawberries? I asked the server to dilute the drink a a good amount.

The server returned with what looked like the exact drink she left with. I could see the spot caused by the excess smoothie running down the side on the glass when it was first delivered.  The drink tasted the same; I couldn’t finish it.  Was it the same one she left with? Did they just make an identical drink? I don’t know. But, three sips from an $8 smoothie?  I was not thrilled.

The server came over once again, but this time to tell us she was leaving for the night, and that we could pay whenever we were ready to go, but a different server was going to take our check, check 503.

All four of us were greatly disappointed with our experience at the Signature Lounge.  The service was unacceptable, and the product was not worth a fraction of what we paid, even with the “amazing” view.

Go to basement of your building and try the Cheesecake factory’s smoothes.  I would pay $10 for them at your venue.  Even if the concentration of mix and ice was perfect with your drinks, they still couldn’t compare to what is being sold at the Cheesecake Factory.

Unless there is something you can do to change the way we feel about the Signature Lounge, I doubt any of us will be back.  And we certainly wont be recommending your business to out of town guests.


Ed Hayes

  1. Dick Hayes
    July 12, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Next time I come to Chicago take me to the Cheesecake factory for a smoothie, not to the John Hancock building.

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