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Legendary Signature Room closes leaving workers 'lost, hurt, confused'

Signature Room employee surprised by sudden closure; 'It sucks'
Signature Room employee surprised by sudden closure; 'It sucks' 01:45

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Workers said it felt like a slap in the face.

Finding out they'd lost their jobs in an early-morning email.

Dozens of people who worked at the iconic Signature Room at the top of the former John Hancock Center are now looking for work.

CBS 2's Noel Brennan spoke to an assistant manager who is now filing for unemployment.

"It was such a routine for everyone."

Fridays usually take him to the top of the former John Hancock Center for a night of work – with a view.

"The lounge was a beautiful place. I worked at the Signature Room on the 95th floor. I was the lounge manager for 96th."

But this Friday, Michael Tyler-Smith is out of a job, like every staff member at the Signature Room.

"And it sucks. It sucks. I'm only 30, and I've never thought I'd have to file for unemployment."

He said no one had time to prepare or process the email that came from management.

"Like, that's all? It came at 6:00 yesterday morning just saying, 'urgent information.'"

Employees got an email and customers got a note on the door. The owners said economic hardship forced them to close the iconic restaurant and lounge impacting more than 100 workers whom Michael Tyler-Smith considers family.

"It hurts. I had an amazing team. They're the ones who made the Signature Room. They're the ones who put their all, time, blood, sweat. Everyone that I've spoken to feels lost, feels hurt, confused."

He said he never had a chance to say goodbye. Now, he can only wish his coworkers good luck.

"All of our last days could've been different. I know they're going to get something. I know I will get something. I just need something quick."

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