4xForth: Liz Klafeta of BANGTEL / by Taylor Bryant

I like to think of 4xForths as the catalyst to an amazing weekend because who doesn't love to read about rad women and their favorite things to do in the Windy City? This week's feature is all about community member Liz Klafeta, owner of  BANGTEL  She's an interior designer, stylist, entrepreneur, and all around girl boss.

Check out Liz's go-to spots below!

Favorite places to grab a drink in the city:

  1. Parson's Chicken and Fish. The outside patio is amazing for meeting a group of friends. You almost feel like you are in some amazing outdoor oasis in Austin, TX. The frozen Negroni's are superb!
     
  2. Matchbox because, well…not only do they make the BEST martinis, but they hand you the rest of the shaker. I love a good 2 for 1!  It's always a better idea to UBER here.
     
  3. Wang's!! That speakeasy dark sexy Japanese opium den vibe. Great for a martini and a first date and always throwing badass parties. Quite honestly, some of the best music in the area as well.
     
  4. Berlin, especially  for PLASTIC FACTORY.  Ever seen the creatures that throw this party? This place has been around for over 30 years and I have never seen this much talent roaming around the dance floor and gracing the stages. They are amazing. Androgynous Club Kids that spend days on their costumes.  Leave inspired and tired after shaking that hot foot all night long! 

Favorite hotels in the city:

Being that I gypsy amongst all the BANGTEL's, sometimes I have to live in a hotel when they are all fully booked.  It allows me to research first hand the type of top notch concierge we at BANGTEL like to provide to our guests!  

  1. Soho house. They send someone up to make your drink in room when phoned, pre-dinner hour.  Also, the number of toiletries with their own labeled bag is beyond impressive.  I, of course, phoned down and asked if I could take them all after trying everything Cowshed product in the shower.  I love staying there and taking meetings all day.  It is beyond convenient.  January and February are the best because as a member you can stay for $100/night!  That's what I like to call a PAR-TAY! 

  2. The Thompson Hotel: Um…love the restaurant, Nico Osteria.  The rooms are huge as well with a built-out banquet in the corner that is upholstered just right!  The TV's in the lobby with the landscape of the city simply blew my mind.  I had always wanted to do one with a fire silhouette in all the Bangtel's with fireplaces.
     
  3. The Public Hotel…Ian Schrager designed and there is just so much history.  I remember eating cheeseburgers with my sister in the original Pump Room pre-rehab.  We would sit in Frank Sinatra's booth and look at photos of all the celebs when they frequented the establishment as babies.  It is so light and crisp and refreshing there.  It always feels like home.  The weekend nights fill the lobby with DJ's and beautiful people, while Sunday has the best brunch. 
     
  4. The Chicago Athletic Association because it is just INSANE.  If you haven't been, GO.  The lobby, the view at the restaurant Cindy's, the Cherry Circle room with that CEILING.  So much history packed into that guy.  Ask for a tour and get your socks knocked off.  The rooms are super hip with brand new rehabbed bathrooms and there's a Shake Shack in the lobby when you come home on those late nights.  Land and Sea did a great job making 

Places I frequent in the city:

  1. Tile Outlet on Fullerton. I. AM. JUST. ALWAYS. BUYING. TILE. The prices are awesome.  There is also a limited run of things.  So, although, you may think everyone has it, everyone will not be able to have it.  

  2. Native Foods for that Taco Salad.  Do they put crack in that thing?? There are thankfully a few interspersed throughout the city, so its a quick pick-up when I am running around. 

  3. Andersonville: Thybony for wallpaper and paint. They have a great selection for wallpapers.  I also love Scout for a Marlin or an amazing table.  Kyllie, of Recovered Interiors, does an amazing job of upholstering some of their goods just right. 

  4. Zap Props or Propabilities for photoshoots and rental items for commercials and print ads.  Now, I generally go and purchase prized possessions for my rental homes. Shoot... I just told you one of my secrets! 

Best galleries in the city:

  1. Chicago Truborn: Ever wanted to be able to buy that "cool" graffiti-inspired art? Sara, the owner, is doing it right!   Not only is she a darling, but she really done something amazing by making street-art accessible to the public.  Pop in and get some good stuff!

  2. Johalla Projects:  Anna Cerniglia is not only one of the raddest chicks I have ever met, but she does the most inspirational things.  For example, she is somehow able to arrange to have her artists paint on a gigantic shipping container for the entry to Perry Farral's area Stage at Lollapoolooza.  NO BIG DEAL...she did that!  #mindblown

  3. Matthew Rachman Gallery:  Well curated walls focusing on contemporary abstract art juxtaposed along side an insane collection of rare mid-century modern furniture in a minimal setting.  The guys there are pretty rad, too! GO SEE! 

  4. Zhou B Art Gallery is a building of artists that offer a live-work space.  Its a crazy little inspirational building in Bridgeport with art installations down random hallways.  It used to be the home to the likes of Hebru Brantley and I love when the meeting of Styles is there.  They saran wrap "wall space" by repeatedly wrapping around columns that are 14' feet away from one another.  

Best places to relax in the city:

  1. Division Chiropractic Not only did they save my back, but Shari will cup the crap out of you and make you as good as new in no time! 

  2. Cowshed Spa is great to spend the day at.  Their massages are always so on point.  The facials are great as well.  If only they offered no chip manicures, this girl would call it a one-stop-shop. Afterwords, you can chill by the fire on roof or catnap while you watch a movie in the cinema room. 

  3. King Spa is uncomfortably weird at first, but then relaxing. Get naked with everyone and dip yourself in every hot to cold bath. You also get to wear the sexiest light pink scrubs while lounging in a variety of their Salt Rooms. The Bim Bop dinner is a highlight and the moisturizing face mask in a bag. 

  4. Painstop on Lincoln or Milwaukee is great for a deep tissue Thai massage.  The wait is usually limited and you can schedule it last minute. They even take some insurance. 

Reading  Liz's suggestions for enjoying Chicago has me ready to take a staycation. I can picture it now, a day at the spa, a night on the town, and coming back to one of the bangin' BANGTEL properties.

If you're ready for a staycation of your own or if you just want to be inspired by Liz's vibrant and ecclectic style, be sure to visit BANGTEL on the web and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.