Philippe Gills, concierge at The Langham Chicago, is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares his top three things to do in Chicago. Check out the short video clip, below, to see what he recommends.
Looking for a fun distraction that takes you away from the already photographed skyscrapers of Chicago’s downtown? If so then find time to head over to SausageFest Chicago in the Lake View neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (June 15th and 16th), where a catalog of macho meats await.
Returning for its third year, SausageFest Chicago hosts an arrangement of exclusive vendors that continue to display their craftsmanship in an open market setup. Masters in every sense of the word, these retailers will best any stomach.
Known by its association with the historic Wrigleyville area, SausageFest Chicago is accessible by taking the Red Line to the “Addison” stop on the CTA’s “L” system. Hopeful attendees/commuters will find themselves enticed by the hints of smoke coming from West Addison Street. Live entertainment is also included, providing a backdrop to the sizzling grills. These sights and sounds, coupled with some tickets to the exciting matchup between the Cubs and Mets this weekend, make for a unique evening in Wrigleyville.
For those feeling a bit more masculine than the rest of us, the title for “Sausage King of Chicago” is up for grabs and is fit with an entire crowning ceremony. The title encourages at both times boasting and appreciation among only the most serious of meat lovers. In some respects it has the ability to rival even the most deserving of awards.
Let it all go once in a while. This weekend allow yourself to indulge in the likes of kielbasa, polish sausages, BBQ pork, hot dogs, roasted duck and the rest that are sure to be as hearty as you are faithful in being a carnivore. The ridiculousness that is sure to ensue and the comfort of taking it easy for a day in Wrigleyville make SausageFest Chicago worthwhile. Running from noon to 10 p.m. the festivities should be convenient and rewarding for families, friends and even the occasional passerby.
Comedian Greg Proops will take center stage at UP Comedy Club on April 10th where he’ll perform his hit podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, live. Though he lives in Hollywood, CP found time to catch up with Greg to see what he most looks forward to doing while here in Chicago. Read on to find out what tops his list.
What’s not to like? Chicago is New York without the bull. It is fun every night and offers all types of flavor. That’s why it rules the Midwest. Let’s face it; Sioux Falls just isn’t getting it done. Here’s some of my favorite things to do around town:
1) Don’t think I’m sad, but eating at The Original Pancake House ranks up there. The Whose Line guys and I stay across the street and eat there every day for breakfast when we’re in town. The Dutch Baby Pancake takes 15 minutes to make… teasing you… and then blows your mind with its eggy goodness.
2) The Art Institute of Chicago. I always go and see A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat. It is stunning. It is the size of a movie screen and is worth a whole afternoon of up-close gazing.
3) Wrigley Field if it is baseball season. Take that Fenway! Wrigley is more fun and has better bars all around it.
4) Dinotto Ristorante on North Avenue across from the Second City. It’s been a regular stop for years. They offer neighborhood Italian fare that’s beautifully presented with both charm and spice.
5) A walk down Michigan Avenue and checking out all the stores. I also enjoy walking over the bridges on the Chicago River. This city is full of superb architecture—and surprising statues of French explorers.
Greg Proops: The Smartest Man in the World Podcast at UP Comedy Club
Tickets and additional information are available here.
Bottom of the 9th. Bases are loaded. A stadium full of fans waits motionless, hot dogs in hand, as you step out of the very dugout where legends and their legends once stood. The weight of history on your shoulders and generations of Cubs fans at your back, you step to the plate…
Take in a part of Chicago history with a tour of the famous Wrigley Field. Step inside the visitors’ clubhouse where every great in baseball history has gotten suited up, see the Cubs clubhouse where your favorite players on today’s lineup get geared up to play, sit in the press box next to where legendary announcer Harry Caray sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” every 7th inning stretch for 16 years, and step from the Cubs dugout onto the field like you’re one of the greats yourself.
Informed tour guides lead you through the park with stories and anecdotes for every step you take. See the ivy-covered wall and learn how long it took to hang. Hear why “Quick Rick”, the scoreboard operator, is so impossibly quick. Find out for yourself what makes a baseball field the icon of a city.
Choose your tour at the Cubs’ website. Tickets sell out fast so don’t miss your chance!
Get ready for the first pitch of the season on the North Side on Thursday, April 5, as the Chicago Cubs take on the Washington Nationals at the Friendly Confines. Whether you’re looking to pre-game, post-game or just kick back a while watching outside the ballpark, here’s a roundup of local spots that bleed Cubbie blue.
The Cubby Bear: This venue, located right across the street from Wrigley Field, is a great spot to hang out or have a post-game party. Enjoy live music or watch the game on one of their five projection screen TVs or 75 plasma TVs throughout the bar. It’s ensured that you won’t miss any part of the action. And, hey, you’re just a long foul ball’s distance from the ballpark; so the atmosphere can’t be beat.
The Sports Corner: This tavern and grill has been a neighborhood favorite since opening 1976. Enjoy a nice draft and a burger fresh off of the grill while you take in 9-innings and welcome the spring/summer season!
Vines on Clark: For a more intimate spot to watch the game, head up to Vines on Clark. They have an outside patio and a spacious dining room dotted with flat screen TVs, this offers up a less pub-like game-watching experience.
Casey Moran’s: They guarantee no bad seat in the house – sounds like a reason to take in the game to me! Watch the game on their 30, 52-inch plasma TVs throughout the entire bar and even out on their garden café. Hungry? Casey Moran’s offers up juicy burgers, cold salads, and even sushi!
Rebel: If you’re feeling rebellious and want a great nightlife experience after the game, this is the place to be. Rebel Bar and Grill is a year-round destination that features daily food and drink specials, private party rooms, and excellent service! Head there after the game to loosen up and dance!
Benchmark: Located in Old Town, this chic tavern is Chicago’s “first convertible beer garden”, meaning that the highlight of this venue is its fully-retractable roof. There are 46 TVs, so you won’t miss any of Dempster’s pitches!
Kirkwood: This is a one-of-a-kind bar offering plenty of seating on their expansive patio (complete with TVs) and cozy, shady spots courtesy of their trees and umbrellas. If you’re with a group of friends, you’re in luck! Kirkwood has sharable drinks and dishes like fishbowls and skillet cookies!
Schoolyard Bar: Head to Lakeview for upscale bar food and catch the game inside or out in this cozy, small bar. Got the kids in tow? No worries! This is a family-friendly destination, so bring them along!
While it seems that other Major League teams are moving into a new stadium every few decades, the Chicago Cubs have been playing ball at Wrigley Field since 1916. Unlike the other sterile, brand new, state-of-the-art ballparks, Wrigley has an inordinate amount of charm and history.
And you can take it all in with a behind-the-scenes tour.
Wrigley Field Tours will be running through the end of October, virtually every day. Tours are held rain or shine, and whether or not the Cubs have a home game that day. On most September days, sessions mainly occur every hour from around 9 or 10 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. October is a little different, as there will only be two or three tours per weekday, mostly in the afternoons. Weekends will still have hourly tours most days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The full schedule is available on Cubs.com.
For $25 (or less, if you attend with a group of 20 or more), you will get to see everything that makes Wrigley special. The 75-minute session lets fans see the Cubs clubhouse, visiting clubhouse, press box, bleachers, dugouts, on-deck circles and a part of the field. Wearing a Cubs jersey and reliving dreams of being Ryne Sandberg is optional.
The tours are a hit (no pun intended). Visitors love stepping on the field, and, as Samantha Morris, the Coordinator of Tour Experiences says, “being able to sit in the same dugout where Ernie Banks did, stepping in the same on-deck circle just like Aramis Ramirez and taking in Wrigley from the best vantage point around is usually a once in a lifetime experience.”
Ironically, the most unique part of the tour is going into the visitors’ clubhouse, where the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, Paul McCartney and Elton John have prepared for their baseball game, football game, or concert.
In fact, it’s not impossible for some real major leaguers to be present on game day. Tour groups may see broadcasters getting ready on game days, and you just may see players getting their cuts in the batting cage before the first pitch.
The tour involves a good deal of walking (1.5 miles) with parts of it outdoors, so dress accordingly. Cameras and video cameras are acceptable for personal use.
Guests are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance, and one can do that by ordering from Cubs.com, calling 800-THE-CUBS, or visiting the Wrigley Field Box Office at the ballpark.
Complementary parking is available for tour guests on non-game days in the purple lot on the southeast corner of Clark Street and Waveland Avenue. The best way to get to the park by public transportation is to take the Red Line to the Addison stop, or the Brown Line to the Southport stop and walk a few blocks northeast to the park.
Each week our Concierge Correspondents offer their top picks for things to do. This week, Landon Moore of the W City Center hotel, talks about his picks for things to do this week in Chicago.
Join the fun on Tuesday, August 17th at Wrigley Field, when the Chicago Cubs host Polish Heritage Night and play the San Diego Padres at 7:05 p.m. For this event, the official restaurant partner of Wrigley Field, Levy Restaurants, will be providing authentic Polish dishes, including pan-fried potato and cheese perogies served with a side of sour cream as well as $3 Polish sausages. Also, Levy Restaurants’ head chef, Ron Krivosik, will be contributing his grandmother’s recipe for sauerkraut stew. Guests can order theses items and more inside the gates of Sheffield Grill, Broadcast Grill, Bleacher Bums and the Cub House at Wrigley.
Fans who attend Polish Heritage Night can also receive a special commemorative Cubs cap embroidered with the Polish flag with a $5 donation to the Chicago Cubs Charities when purchasing their ticket. Proceeds support Chicago’s Polish-American community in cooperation with the Polish American Association. Additionally, the Polish national anthem and pre-game ceremony are just a few other examples of how this special night will be celebrated.