The exterior of Red Square in Wicker Park (Photo by Hannah Greene )
If there's something Chicago and Russia have in common, it might be the January forecasts. Enter a cure for the tundra-like weather: Red Square Russian Bathhouse (1914 W. Division St., 773-227-2284), housed in the historic building that used to be Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths.
Named for the bustling Red Square in Moscow, the bathhouse has been gutted and renovated to sport a spa, tanning salon, steam baths and saunas, plus a restaurant and bar under the same roof. The original bathhouse opened in 1906 and was frequented by Chicago celebs such as Al Capone and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Now you don't have to leave your robe as you bounce from the baths to a massage, then to a lunch of borscht (beet soup) and pelmeni (dumplings), then sneak in a little mani-pedi or tanning session before you settle in at the bar for a glass of Russian Standard vodka on the rocks.
Currently, all facilities are open except for the tanning salon and bar, which will debut later this month with a grand opening. Reservations are recommended for all spa services, but walk-ins are welcome. Here's what to expect:
18,000: The square footage of this two-story monument to sweat.
$30: The price of admission for one full day of traipsing around in your robe.
1: The number of microchip-embedded waterproof wristbands you'll receive to open your locker and charge food, drinks and spa services.
110: The number of seats in the restaurant, where you can snack on Russian-inspired small plates crafted by chef Dave Gebhardt, who has worked in the kitchens at Japonais, Rodan and L20.
25: The number of Russian and Ukrainian vodkas the bar will offer.
15: The number of tanning rooms where you can walk out a few shades darker than when you walked in.
2: The number of genders that share the coed sauna.
190: The degrees Fahrenheit of the three wood-paneled saunas. Just below the boiling point of water.
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