As a way to satisfy our insatiable wanderlust, Chicago’s very own Graham Kostic of Glossed & Found threw a slumber party and invited some of Chicago’s most chic tastemakers and socialites. The hip and trendy Freehand made for the perfect location to have quite the slumber party where Chicago’s finest would get to bunk up for a night of unadulterated fun.
Having left their mark with Freehand Miami, Freehand Chicago is making its presence known by giving Chicagoans a new alternative to your traditional hotels. Typically in a hotel you may grab a drink at the bar, and then head back to your room but at Freehand expect the night to stay young with a communal game of Jenga and tiki cocktails.
True to the Miami model, Freehand Chicago is providing travelers with a back to basics type of living with bunk beds and minimalistic rooms. The posh New York design firm Roman and Williams are the geniuses behind the rustic and stylish decor. In each of the neutral toned rooms, a vibrant color-blocked tribal carpet lays across the floor and intriguing wall fixtures decorate the walls. For the night of fun, I had the pleasure of staying in the Queen room. It was young and fresh and my kind of living arrangements. Let’s just say, I had no problem making myself feel right at home.
Other partygoers bunked up in the shared rooms. If you’ve never had a childhood that featured bunk beds, with Freehand you can live the fantasy in style. The adventurous type may bunk with strangers while the more reserved may opt-in for the tribal chic King and Queen bedrooms. However, if you aren’t quite ready to unplug from the world of television, only the King and Queen rooms have a TV. But who needs a TV when one could unwind in the Den or seek some excitement at The Broken Shaker?
To kick off our night of fun, our first taste of Freehand began with specialty cocktails from the hotel’s in-house bar The Broken Shaker. A subdued hue with bottles lining the bar transports guests to an exotic paradise as each sip is infused with rich international flavors. One drink that had everyone talking was the infamous Chicago Politics which was presented in a copper pineapple. This drink comprised of spiced coconut créme, citrus, Szechuan peppercorn, fino sherry, and Absolut Elyx Vodka. However, I may warn you that it is quite heavy so it may be a tad difficult to not hold it with both hands. You haven’t encapsulated the full Broken Shaker experience without ordering the Chicago Politics.
To complement our exotic cocktails, we were treated to delightful candlelight dinner of Nicaraguan cuisine from Café Integral. The highlight of the meal for me was easily the Roasted Chicken Thigh which was drizzled in seasoned greek yogurt, and cucumber and radish salad. We indulged in quite a few pieces of this delicious dish not hesitating to ask for seconds. We ended the meal on a high note, as we tried Café Integral’s famous coffee cocktails. These drinks certainly pack quite the punch, so I would recommend this for the adventurous cocktail dabbler. Café Integral is famous for their rare brews of Nicaraguan coffee. Surprisingly, this is the only place in the city to find these rare coffee beans. And to be completely honest with you, I’m not sure where else you can have a coffee cocktail so it’s certainly worth checking out.
Before we tuck away into our beds, the slumber party would not have been complete without an impromptu session of Dream Catcher making from Sarah Sands of Sinclarity. She showed off her expertise and guided us step by step through the process. Many of us walked away with some impressive Dream Catchers despite being tangled in yards of string, beads, and feathers.
For those who weren’t quite ready to put their dream catchers to use, DJ Matt Roan hosted a hangout session while the night owls played a game of giant Jenga.
The slumber party is coming to a close and we arose bright and early in the morning to the fresh batches of coffee brewing in Café Integral. Aromas of buttered toast were incredibly enticing and made for a delicious parting gift from our nomadic escape. As a way to always remember the epic times that were had, Glossed & Found made sure we didn’t leave empty handed as we parted with gifts courtesy of Me Undies and the Long Weekends are for Lovers Glossed & Found shoe bag.
Fun times were had and Freehand Chicago and I’m looking forward to making more memories in this exciting and welcoming space.