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DeNiro, Partners Bringing Nobu To Chicago With Hotel/Restaurant Concept

March 28, 2013

The Japanese restaurant chain Nobu, which owns establishments in more than two dozen cities on five continents, is preparing to enter the Chicago market for the first time with a combination restaurant/boutique hotel along the crowded Randolph Street nightlife corridor. The New York based company opened its first hotel, in Las Vegas, in February and has plans for more hotels in Qatar and Saudi Arabia slated to open later this year.

The actor Robert De Niro, a Nobu co-owner, has said that the restaurant/hotel format is likely to become the company’s chief development formula in the future. “We would get all these invitations to open Nobu restaurants in different hotels in the world,” Mr. De Niro told the Las Vegas Sun recently. “We couldn’t do them all, but it got me thinking, if so many hotels wanted us, why didn’t we just do the hotels ourselves with our restaurants in them.” He added that “it always excited me to have a Nobu Hotel.”

Details on the Chicago venture have not been made public yet. Developers have confirmed that Nobu, named for its chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, is far along in negotiations to acquire a 12,000-square-foot parcel in the city’s west loop neighborhood. Nobu CEO Trevor Horwell told Crain’s Chicago Business that “we have an intent to move forward on the site, but we still have to go through a lot of hoops.”


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