DOWNTOWN — Passersby wanting a to grab a drink from the Tip Top Tap at the Allerton Hotel might soon trade disappointment for refreshment.
Warwick International Hotels announced its purchase of the famed Mag Mile hotel this week, and floated the possibility that the penthouse lounge, which closed in 1961, but retained its signage atop the hotel, might be serving spirits in the future.
"The Allerton is close to being a perfect acquisition for WIH," said Richard Chiu, Warwick's president. "She nicely complements (Warwick's) collection of landmark hotels, each one of which has her own particular history and story to tell."
In a press release announcing the Allerton purchase, Warwick said "various proposals for a Tip Top Tap bar lounge renaissance are currently under study." The company announced no further details. The hotel will be known as the Warwick Allerton Hotel.
Built in 1924, the Allerton, 701 N. Michigan Ave., was one of the first high-rises along Michigan Avenue. Its Northern Italian Renaissance style made it stand out among the other Georgian and Tudor Revival-style buildings, the hotel's website notes.
The famous Tip Top Tap sign was first illuminated in 1940s, and the swanky hotel played host to celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart and Ginger Rogers.
Today the former Tip Top Tap space hosts events as a ballroom that offers a panorama of Chicago's skyline.
The 443-room Allerton is the latest acquisition for Warwick, which owns dozens of hotels across the world, including in Denver, New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle.