TGIF!!! This week, May and June decided it was time to visit another great hotel in our beautiful city. Although cold, it was bright and sunny so we decided to walk 1.5 miles to The Drake Hotel, for a mid-week “business meeting”. And because May is the fastest power walker on the planet, we did not get too cold (although we may have had a little warm-up stop to check out the spring fashions and sales at Anthropologie).
The Drake is a landmark hotel that was founded in 1920 by Tracy and John Drake, who acquired it from Potter Palmer in 1916. The hotel was built in the Italian Renaissance style overlooking Lake Michigan, and was a longtime rival of the Palmer House, another landmark establishment ( both of which are now operated by Hilton Hotels). Notable visitors to the Drake Hotel have included several Presidents, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Walt Disney, and Queen Elizabeth II. The Drake Hotel is located on the north end of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
(A beautiful bouquet greets visitors in the lobby)
(One of the many grand and gorgeous crystal chandeliers)
After doing a little tour of the lobby, we decided to check out the historical Coq d’Or (French for golden cockerel), the hotel’s piano bar/restaurant which is known for being the second establishment to serve alcohol after prohibition, opening December 6, 1933. We felt like we were going back in time as we enjoyed our drinks and appetizers, relaxing in red leather chairs. The menu items are a little retro. We only really perused the appetizers but it was old-school food like shrimp cocktail, crab cakes and a cheese board. It is fun to visit some of these old school restaurants and bars where everything on the menu lends itself to being comfortable and unpretentious. On weekends, patrons can come for a drink or dinner, while listening to the sounds of jazz piano. You can also go for afternoon tea in the Palm Court, between 1-5pm.
(The golden cockerel must have worn a pirate hat?)
(The bar complete with a red leather bumper, big red leather bar chairs and dark wood)
(A vintage scene)
(A business meeting with champagne refreshment and a cheese plate)
We hope you get a chance to stop in at the Drake Hotel, the next time you’re in the city. Have a wonderful weekend.
~May and June