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Instead of artwork, Ampersand, the 600-square-foot private-event space within Chicago seafood restaurant Kinmont, covered its walls in chalkboard paint. Those renting the room can personalize the space by writing their menus on the walls, posting a marketing message or jotting ideas during a meeting. “Probably the most central tenet of the Ampersand concept is the ability to customize the entire space to best accommodate the event taking place as well as the audience in attendance,” says partner Chris Freeman. Some guests get very elaborate, says one server, hiring chalkboard-stencil artists to spend upward of two hours decorating the whole room in illustrations.