Different than a soft opening, friends & family night or publicly marketed preview event, Wicker Park’s newest hotspot The Bedford had 150 brand ambassadors come in to test out the space before it opened to the public, on April 26, 2011.
Influencers were mailed an actual lock box key in a clear envelope, which was closed with a wax seal.
The Bedford is a reclaimed bank space (originally the Home Bank & Trust, built in 1925), with the main focal point being a large vault room with more than 6,000 working lock boxes. At the event, guests were encouraged to bring the key they received in the mail to open their own lock box, which had fun takeaways in it for them (including everything from local gift cards to even a few pairs of D/Vision sunglasses – each box was different).
There were three dinner seatings where guests sampled from a special menu based off of Mark Steuer’s actual dinner menu and taste Peter Gugni’s delicious cocktails. The owners of the space – Eric Nordness, Anne Smith and Matt Mering of Salita Development – were onsite greeting each guest and give them special walk-throughs of the space.
After dinner, guests were invited to hang out in the vault room or at the bar for the remainder of the evening.
The Bedford is located at 1612 W. Division. Make reservations online at BedfordChicago.com or by calling 773.235.8800.