What Made the Pump Room Famous - NBC Chicago

What Made the Pump Room Famous



    What Made the Pump Room Famous
    Hannah Chanpong

    Thousands of pieces of art, furniture and glassware from the Pump Room and the Ambassador East Hotel go on sale starting 10 a.m. Friday. The 12-day public sale at the Pump Room, at 1301 N. State Pkwy., continues daily.

    The historic restaurant, made popular by the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Judy Garland, is getting a makeover. That means everything must go – even the wood paneling.

    But if these walls could talk, here's what they might say:

    • Celebrities who dined at Booth One, the most coveted seat in the house, could call their friends overseas on the table’s designated phone line. The phone is being sold with the booth in a silent auction, but the phone number will stay with the Pump Room.
    • An inconspicuous switch behind the maitre d’s stand controls a small light on the restaurant ceiling. The maitre d' used it to alert staff that an important guest had arrived without causing a stir. 
    • Frank Sinatra always called ahead to ask how many guests were in the restaurant. He’d offer to pick up their tabs – as long as they agreed to leave. He and the Rat Pack, according to legend, liked to imbibe in private.

    Sinatra’s booth, along with the drapes and the window behind it, is on sale for more than $4,000. You can scope out the swag here.

    The floor is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Most items will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. Admission to the sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday is $5.