We know one thing: Our guests can’t live without coffee. Not to worry, we’ll keep finding ways to serve it to you, starting with the new exclusive roast you can find in our downstairs coffee shop, Two Zero Three. Virgin Hotels Chicago has partnered with Dark Matter Coffee, a local favorite, to create the entire package.
Our very own hotel concierge, Chad Edwards, designed the bag. Yep, Edwards can work a crowd. And he can work a pen and ink, too. His bag illustration is an engaging depiction of hotel employees, plus characters from his personal life.
“I started drawing as a kid and never stopped,” says Edwards, who has worked at the hotel since it opened in 2015 and also works as a freelance illustrator. “My personal work is almost always figurative. My freelance work is more editorial.”
Edwards also created the mural inside Two Zero Three, a powerful graphic representation of Chicago and its people. The mural helped inspire the coffee bag design. As it happens, there’s a human element most of Edwards’ work. “The human body, psychology, and condition is something that I find endlessly fascinating,” he explains.
For those that like to put a face with a name, the local cast of characters on the bag includes graphic designer Eileen Tjan photographer Kirsten Miccoli, visual artist Ismar Medina, dummer and DJ Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo, and more.
These people represent the force of creativity in Chicago. And what’s inside the bag certainly fuels it. “I could give up many things. Coffee is not one of them,” says Edwards. “So getting to design this bag is the equivalent of a ball player getting their own signature shoe.”
You can find Edwards’ work on Instagram (@chadedwardsart), in magazines, at various art shows, and “in bathrooms stalls across the city,” he says. You can find Edwards himself at the front desk. He’s full of amazing insider Chicago knowledge — just ask.