It’s the ultimate garage sale and everything must go.
Memorabilia from the Ambassador East Hotel and the Pump Room, once a celebrity stopover in trips from New York to Hollywood, will be available to the public in a 12-day liquidation sale starting on Friday. Tens of thousands of items from dishes and menus, to furniture and artwork are priced to sell on a first-come, first-serve basis in the sale, taking place in the Pump Room at the hotel, 1301 North State Parkway.
“There’s something here for everybody,” said Michael Kabealo, president of Hotel Content Liquidators. “You don’t need to have a lot of money.”
Case in point: $1 will get you a tissue holder from an Ambassador East guest room.
A leather bar stool will set you back a couple hundred dollars. Or for $10,500, just buy the bar—literally.
The Ambassador East Hotel was opened in 1926; the Pump Room in 1938. The restaurant frequently hosted a long line of Hollywood celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Michael J. Fox, Eddie Murphy and Mick Jagger.
The Pump Room was also notable for its longtime maitre d’, Arturo Petterino. The Chicago native was good pals with Sinatra, despite a curious incident in which the abrasive crooner hurled a plate of food at him. Petterino died in April 2010 at the age of 89.
Speaking of Sinatra, word has it that when he came to visit, he would call 30-45 minutes in advance to find out how many people were in the restaurant. Then he would pick up everyone’s tab to clear out before he and The Rat Pack arrived to dine in his private booth, Kabealo said.
That booth, including the drapes and a Prohibition-era glass window, is also for sale: $4,500.
Three items will be part of a sealed-bid auction: Booth One (including its own private phone), an oil painting and a black lacquer Oriental screen, estimated to sell for $50,000. Nevertheless, the sale is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to own a piece of Chicago’s history, said Alison Kabealo, managing member of Hotel Content Liquidators.
“This hotel has a lot of memories for a lot of people,” she said.
The sale at The Pump Room is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.