Lost in the hoopla surrounding the new restaurants opening around Wrigley Field is that the Hotel Zachary has its own food and beverage outlets. Beyond Big Star, Smoke Daddy, Mordecai, and West Town Bakery, the hotel has opened its own second-floor bar, along with a private dining space called the Alma Room that will be open for the public for breakfast. They even hired Karen Herold, the superstar designer behind standout restaurants including BLVD, the winner of Eater Chicago’s 2017 Restaurant Design of The Year award, to create the space.
Hickory Street Capital, a company owned by the Ricketts family — who also run the Cubs — runs the boutique hotel. This space should provide a respite from the summer craziness of Clark and Addison. The main dining area, the Alma Room, is named after the wife of the hotel’s namesake, Zachary Taylor Davis. Davis served as Wrigley Field’s architect. Painted portraits of the two hang on the landing leading up the stairs toward a 20-seat wraparound bar.
Ownership describes themselves as a band of proud Chicagoans who want to showcase the city. While it’s hard to ignore baseball, Lakeview’s not just about sports. One of Chicago’s most historic music venues, The Metro, is just a few blocks north. Not only will the hotel be a good spot for music fans traveling to see their favorite performer, but the Hotel Zachary convinced Metro owner Joe Shanahan to compile the playlists for the space.
The food’s described as sharable and hyperlocal. There’s an abundance of Midwest pride. Dishes include a crispy fried chicken breast sandwich and lobster corn dogs. Wrigleyville has few breakfast options and a cornflake-crusted French toast should help fans before 1:20 p.m. games. Drink wise there’s a focus on classics. Mordecai’s drink list will be for the more adventurous. For out of towners who don’t know about local restaurants from Matthias Merges, One Off Hospitality Group, or Boka Restaurant Group, a little familiarity can be welcoming. They’re working with West Town Bakery and will serve Dark Matter coffee. Eventually, they’ll host special events like craft beer tastings.
The Hotel Zachary knows they’re the new kids on the block, but they want to blend into the neighborhood. There’s clamor from local bar and restaurant owners that the new developments are designed to put them out of business. At least in interviews that doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s more of a sense to complement. Hickory Street Capital’s director of food and beverage asset management Nathaniel Brethold simply said, “We’re not trying to transform the neighborhood.”
Take a tour of the space below. and check out the menu. The space is now open.
Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark Street, hours not posted yet.