THE FOUNDATION ROOM
at House of Blues
Location: 329 N. Dearborn St. (Inside House of Blues)
Best For: Rich Yuppies / Expense Accounts / Elbow Rubbers
Staff Rating: 3/10
Sound System Rating: 3/10
Decor & Atmosphere Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 6/10
The Foundation Room has been fairly understaffed from my experience, with only one or two bartenders and the occasional cocktail waitress, which leads to long waits for drinks and generally mediocre service. At these types of clubs one can generally expect to wait a while on busy nights for drinks but when there are only 5 guests at the bar and you still end up waiting 20 minutes for a $10 vodka + soda it can get pretty annoying.
There are many strong points of The House of Blues Foundation room, and the sound is not one of them. The main venue at the HOB has a massive, properly-tuned live sound system, but The Foundation Room’s setup consists of two small PA speakers on hand-mounted stands and no subwoofer, which makes playing any sort of electronic music sound weak and tiny. The rating of the sound would’ve been a two, but one of the cooler things about the club is the implementation of a networked series of speakers in each subsequent room. This gives an additional point to the rating but the fact that none of the speakers are of any quality and the volume is not directly accessible from the rooms detracts from the experience immensely.
The House of Blues itself is a phenomenal venue with great sound, a great stage setup and a labyrinthian set of corridors, opera boxes and green rooms. Somewhere in the middle of all this madness lies The Foundation Room, a room you may not even have known existed having been to the HOB before. The concept itself is very cool, the décor of the HOB is amazing and creates a great atmosphere which The Foundation Room thrives on. Doors and hallways lead to exclusive rooms and secretive feeling locations which really gives The Foundation Room a feeling of being hidden and secluded as if this would be the type of place you would attend a secret society meeting. Unfortunately, unless the drink prices change or the sound system gets upgraded, these secret meeting will have to be attended by those with trust funds or expense accounts who care less about music and more about climbing the social ladder and rubbing elbows with wealthy folks. It’s a shame, because with different management, The Foundation Room could easily become a favorite hangout of mine and attract a much wider audience.