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While downtown Chicago is looking more like a mini version of London with a bevy of British chains such as TopShop, L.K. Bennett, and AllSaints popping up left and right on Michigan Avenue, the city's East Lakeview neighborhood looks destined to become a mini version of Los Angeles later this summer: two major yet very different Sunset Boulevard businesses are setting up shop on the 3100 North block of Broadway, within a few doors down from each other, right by the busy Belmont/Broadway intersection.
The former Reckless Records space at 3161 North Broadway, which has been sitting vacant for about three years now, will be transformed into, wait for it—a Hustler Hollywood boutique. The boarded up storefront is currently marked by a discreet construction permit that lists "HH-Chicago LLC" as the owner, but instead marked by a swanky Beverly Hills address. The original Hustler Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood is a major tourist attraction, stocking a full range of naughty toys, videos, magazines, and even includes a café with red velvet couches for customers to lounge. No word yet on what to expect for the Chicago outpost of the Larry Flynt empire.
Just a couple of doors down, at 3175 North Broadway, the legendary LA-based comedy club Laugh Factory is scheduled for a red-carpet blowout some time in July. The 377-seat former Lakeshore Theater is currently undergoing a $5 million interior makeover, complete with a half-million-dollar custom-crafted marquee to be installed outside. The original Laugh Factory launched the career for many comedians including Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Roseanne Barr, Robin Williams, and Chris Rock, just to name a few. Laugh Factory management promised to deliver A-listers for the grand opening, but so far none has been revealed.