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Your Ultimate Chicago Summer Travel Guide

From new art exhibits to the latest restaurant openings, here’s what to do in Chicago this summer

Where to Eat

The Omakase Room at Sushi-san is a new 10-seat omakase experience where master sushi chef Kaze Chan will showcase his inventive Japanese cuisine through an 18-course menu that will include influences from his roots in Vietnam, China and Japan. Products will be impeccably sourced from around the world; the chef’s relationship with the Yamasaki family at the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo provides the restaurant with the freshest seafood available, with a focus on wild, line-caught fish. The design of the space is reminiscent of a modern Japanese loft, where you will feel like you have been invited to a dinner party at chef Chan’s home. Once seated, guests will be encouraged to interact with the chefs at work while they dine; the chefs will have raised custom Hinoki cypress cutting boards so chefs and guests are at eye level with each other. The team worked with local ceramicists and stonemasons to create serving pieces, including a custom-made lazy susan at each seat. Sake, wine, Japanese whiskey and cocktails crafted with hand-chipped ice are also on offer.

The Omakase Room at Sushi-san

Where to Relax

With boutiques in Lincoln Park, South Loop, Naperville and more on the horizon, The Now Massage offers an oasis to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect within via the healing benefits of massage therapy. The customizable menu offers guests three signature massage styles and a variety of exclusive enhancements like Deep Tissue, Herbal Heat Therapy, Hemp Calm Balm, Gua Sha and more. The brand is celebrated for its thoughtfully crafted menu, healing products and elevated aesthetic inspired by exotic beachside destinations from around the world.

The Now Massage

Art Exhibits

With a unique creative process that is triggered by everything from fashion and media to social injustices, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has been celebrated for his vibrant works of art for decades. Cave got his start studying with the likes of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City and working as a display designer for Macy’s. His new exhibit, Nick Cave: Forothermore, runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through October 2 and showcases just how expansive and immersive his art truly is. “We are both thrilled and humbled to work with Nick Cave on the first major retrospective of his brilliant work over the last 30 years,” says MCA director Madeleine Grynsztejn. “Nick’s passion for allowing art and beauty to address deeper questions of our time has been a tremendous influence on the artistic community and to those who encounter his work in Chicago and abroad. Nick’s awe-inspiring creations and stunning performances encourage us to think of a more harmonious future.” The exhibit will include over a dozen works, including never-before-seen pieces from Cave’s popular Soundsuits series alongside his new series, Soundsuits 9:29, which addresses today’s heightened awareness for racial justice in response to the 2020 death of George Floyd.

“Nick Cave: Forothermore” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Mel Bochner has been a pioneer of conceptual art for nearly six decades, producing thought-provoking drawings, paintings, prints, photography, sculptures, books and installations. His new exhibit, Mel Bochner Drawings: A Retrospective, opens at the Art Institute of Chicago on April 23 and will run through the summer. Featuring nearly 90 works of art from Bochner’s expansive career, this is the first exhibition to employ drawing as an organizational emphasis, signifying Bochner’s artistic influence starting with his earliest drawings in the 1960s through to the modern day. Over the years, Bochner has questioned the definition of a drawing, and through various iterations has explored ideas like language, numbers, visual perception, seriality and the blurring of word and picture through his drawings. This exhibit will showcase a range of interpretative drawings, including traditional drawings from ink, pencil and charcoal alongside mixed media pieces made from burnt matchsticks on paper, oil paint on newspaper and wall drawings in powder pigment. These works further cement the idea that drawing, by definition, might not be so black-and-white.

Mel Bochner “Planar Arc” (1978) [© Mel Bochner. Photo by James Powers]

Where to Work

Famed women’s members club The Wing is reopening its Chicago location with a refreshed design. The Wing’s head of design, Laetitia Gorra, has designed the space with women top of mind. The space showcases custom furniture made to ergonomically fit the average height of a woman using fabrics with women’s clothing front of mind.

The Wing in Chicago