ANGELS & KINGS
at Hard Rock Hotel
Location: 230 N. Michigan Ave. (inside Hard Rock Hotel)
Genre(s): Top 40/Electronic/Dance
Best For: Yuppies / Touring Rock Stars / Trust Fund Hipsters / Middle-Aged Hotel Patrons
Staff Rating: 8/10
Sound System Rating: 2/10
Decor & Atmosphere Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 5/10
The wait staff at Angels and Kings is predominantly nice, friendly and offers speedy service. As the bar is not very big and there are usually two or three bartenders as well as a cocktail waitress, it usually does not take very long to get a drink, though you may have to muscle your way past the thick-necked guys that seem to park themselves on the bar stools whenever I’m there. The drinks themselves are fairly overpriced, but the bartenders are friendly and generally pour the drinks fairly strong. Their liquor selection is expansive and the specials are usually fairly well priced.
The previous location of Angels and Kings had a mediocre sound system, and this new location’s is even worse. It seems as though when the club moved, they were too busy bringing the requisite wood-paneling and black trim décor to bring the sound system over, and as such, the club suffers. Besides an abundance of easily obtainable (preferably cheap) alcohol, the one thing a nightclub needs is a nice sound system. The management staff of AK must have missed that memo because the four ceiling-mounted speakers sound more like the Public Address system at a train station than they do a nightclub. The lack of a subwoofer makes for a very empty-feeling dance floor, and this is usually evidenced by the lonely patch of real-estate in front of the DJ booth.
Angels and Kings used to be located at 710 N. Clark St, a location that seems much more fitting than its current location in what was previously Base Bar in the Hard Rock Hotel. The original club had two separate floors and a passable, (though not great) sound system and had a darker, old-school vibe than the new location. Angels and Kings itself is owned by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy fame, so that should give the visitor a sense of the intended clientele, namely, rich hipsters and touring rock stars. Angels and Kings is an odd place in the sense that I have seen it packed to the gills with sweaty dancing hipsters crowd-surfing to dark, heavy electronic music and I have seen it completely empty save for the occasional hotel guest looking for a drink, all on the same weekly Thursday night party. Now that AK has moved even further downtown, the prices have gone up and the size of the venue has gone down, and in this recession, it’s anyone’s guess as to if and/or when Angels and Kings can accrue any sort of consistent turn out.