The Underground Brings its VIP Swagger Back to Chicago

River North nightclub reopens after massive renovation

By Marcus Riley
|  Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 5:23 PM CDT
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Billy Dec discusses River North nightclub's massive renovation with NBC 5's Marcus Riley.

Marcus Riley

Billy Dec discusses River North nightclub's massive renovation with NBC 5's Marcus Riley.

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When The Underground first opened in 2006, it immediately became the place to be for local nightlife scenesters and VIP celebrities alike.

Things stayed fairly steady over the next six years -- no small feat for a nightclub in a notoriously fickle industry -- but Rockit Ranch CEO Billy Dec and the rest of the executive team decided it was time for a change this year.

The club shut its doors in January and underwent a complete renovation, expanding into the full space once occupied by Harry's Velvet Room.

"When we originally built the space in 2006, we didn't have enough money to decorate the entire space, so we only showed Chicago half," Dec says. "We now have all the space that we were originally given, now done up to its full potential."

The new space includes a huge LED video panel wall, a new sound system, 3D LED ceiling light displays and an additional room designed to increase the level of sophistication you're used to at a typical nightclub.

"Nationally, I think the club scene has gotten sloppy with bottle service. People just sort of throw bottles at you," Dec says. "The mixology movement has been really wonderful, but in the nightclub world nobody has really taken the time and the effort to make that quality of a presentation and product, and we are doing that here."

The club opened to VIPs and special guests last weekend, and will continue to do special events until it fully opens to the public with a slate of events planned for Lollapalooza weekend.

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