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Chicago

The Wheelhouse Hotel

$$

Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood isn't typically noted for high style or a sophisticated atmosphere that would appeal to a well-traveled adventurer. The Wheelhouse Hotel aims to change those notions with an experience unlike any other establishment in this boisterous area.

OUR ARTICLE

BY: Christopher Blatner Contributing writer

It’s impossible to escape baseball when you’re in the neighborhood that grew up around the iconic Wrigley Field. Cubs paraphernalia of every kind is plastered on storefronts, waves from flagpoles at nearly every bar, and is displayed in apartment windows everywhere you look. It’s inescapable. The Wheelhouse Hotel (a reference itself to the best hitting zone for a batter) located a lazy fly ball away from the Friendly Confines, wholly embraces the national pastime but with a discerning taste and style that appeals to even those indifferent to sports altogether.

This 21-room boutique hotel was carved out of a four-story greystone that once served as a multi-unit apartment building.  Unique design elements and a focus on details set this property apart. You’ll find lots of found objects, local art, and playful touches throughout the hotel.

The Wheelhouse Hotel is a luxury experience with a relaxed vibe that playfully celebrates its place in one of Chicago’s most rollicking neighborhoods.

The lobby lounge is a comfortable and relaxed space with timber beams crossing the soaring ceiling, exposed brick walls, and vintage furniture. The focal point of the lounge area is the giant green scoreboard that dons the dents of home runs hit long ago on some old sandlot.

Above the reception desk, hundreds of baseball bats donated by Louisville Slugger fly out of the wall and across the ceiling like a flock of birds to form a dramatic art installation.

Also in the reception area is the “bodega” featuring jars of classic candies, boxes of chocolate bars, and of course bags upon bags of Cracker Jack. Guests will also find old team logo pins that have been given a second life as cufflinks as well as custom-made wool ballcaps featuring The Wheelhouse “W” crafted by local clothing makers Stock Mfg. Co.

The Wheelhouse offers a variety of room types to accommodate every traveler. Got a group but don’t want to share a bed? Book a bullpen terrace suite. It sleeps four in two bunk beds and has a walkout patio. Got the kids in town? A queen terrace suite should do the trick with one queen bed, a bunk, and a patio. Along with traditional double, king, and queen rooms, they’ve got you covered.

The rooms are sleek and feel upscale but maintain a playful vibe starting with the baseball-themed quotes posted outside each door to the Big League Chew, Cracker Jack, and locally made goods available in the minibar. Another fun touch is the pack of Wrigley spearmint gum left on your pillow instead of regular mints. The color scheme keeps things comfortable with rooms painted in cool blue, warm yellow, or peachy-orange. The bathrooms feel exceptionally luxurious with black and white custom-tiled floors, oversized white subway tiles, marble countertops and a selection of boutique bath products. No bathtubs here, just sleek glass walk-in showers. Rooms on the fourth floor have the bonus of towering ceilings making them feel airy and extra spacious. The hotel rooftop features a huge deck where you can bask in the sun and take in beautiful city views.

Back on the first floor, through a brick archway adjacent to the lobby, is Union Full Board, a casual restaurant serving up square cut “Detroit-style” pizza along with a variety of small plates, signature cocktails, and an extensive craft beer and wine list. Outside there are plans for a giant patio for three-season dining and imbibing.

In the basement below Union Full Board, you’ll find the dimly lit lounge Tinker to Evers. The name is a tip of the cap to the great early 1900’s Cubs double-play combo. Despite the allusion to those hometown sports legends, this isn’t a sports bar, which is a welcome relief to a neighborhood that is dotted with them on the streets above ground. Here the focus is on craft cocktails made with fresh juices, herbs, and locally produced spirits.

The Wheelhouse Hotel is a luxury experience with a relaxed vibe that playfully celebrates its place in one of Chicago’s most rollicking neighborhoods.

FIELD TIPS

CYTIES pick: Grab your crew and book the bullpen terrace suite for a summer weekend when the Cubs are in town

Must see: Wrigley Field. If you’re in the neighborhood named for the baseball mecca, you’ve got to pay it a visit. Take your picture in front of the famous marquee, grab some tix if the Cubs are in town, or take a tour of the facilities if they’re away

Top-tip: To save $$ on game tickets, head over to the park around the 3rd inning, scalpers will be unloading tickets at discounted prices

Chicago Hot Dog: Head over to The Weiners Circle for a classic Chicago food with a side of ridicule. Order the chocolate shake at your own risk

Close out your day at Tinker and Evers with a craft cocktail and a late night bite

Cyties - Hit the Concrete

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