Art and Appetite

January 03, 2014

This year the Art Institute of Chicago proudly introduces the area’s leading chefs with their exhibition Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine. You are invited to feast your eyes on famed fare painted and sculpted by the world’s most prominent artists.   

The Drake Hotel is aptly represented by nationally acclaimed Chef Franco Diaz whose mouthwatering recipe for “Turkey and Chanterelles” can be perused on the Art Institutes online cookbook while museum goers gaze at Norman Rockwell’s 1942 Freedom from Want. Exhibition curator Judith Barter truly brings the symbolism of cuisine within art and places the topic on the table.

The exhibition lasts through January 27th, 2014.

Lavazza’s Taste of Summer

July 10, 2013

Starting July 12, grab your sunscreen and boxed breakfast or lunch and enjoy the taste of Lavazza and the rays of sun on Oak Street Beach.  This Summer, Lavazza is offering an Oak Street Beach Summer Special, allowing customers the option to choose between a to-go breakfast or lunch in a picnic style box.  You can enjoy your meal in the sun for $13 per person.

Lavazza Summer hours:

Monday – Wednesday 6am – 5pm

Thursday – Friday 6am – 7pm

Saturday – Sunday 7am – 7pm

NextGenJazz Series Showcases Christopher McBride Trio in July

July 10, 2013

The Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Drake Hotel continue the NextGenJazz concert series at The Drake Hotel with the Christopher McBride Trio on July 11 and 18.   Join us Thursday evenings in Palm Court and enjoy the Jazz sounds over a cocktail from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

For reservations, please contact Shaun Rajah at or call 312-932-4619.

A Special Brunch for Special Moms

July 03, 2013

Mother’s Day…a day of handmade cards, sweet promises of angelic behavior, and, quite naturally, brunch worthy of these women in the Gold Coast Ballroom at The Drake Hotel. The affair provided friends and family an opportunity to enjoy each other without the worry of cooking and cleaning up. The adjacent children's room was also a success, where parents could let their sugar filled children play and laugh with a balloon artist, caricature artist and other activities. “As a mother I realize how precious time with my children is,” explains Ann O’Riordan, Director of Catering at The Drake Hotel. “Being in a setting like The Drake, mothers are able to spend this quality time with their children of any age, be it in the special children’s room full of games or relaxing and conversing over brunch.”

Experience Something New This Summer

May 23, 2013

This summer, education and vacation will go hand-in-hand for families that embark on a Real Chicago adventure at The Drake Hotel. Whether raising an aspiring professional athlete or a budding historian-to-be, parents can extend learning opportunities and fun adventures for their curious children by visiting and booking their stay. Starting June 17, the historic Cape Cod and the Shedd Aquarium will partner to offer families a one-of-a-kind experience exploring the underwater grace and wonders at the Shedd Aquarium with the exclusive hands-on Stingray Touch exhibit and a unique family style meal designed specifically to complement this experience in the Cape Cod restaurant at The Drake Hotel. The menu, created by Chef Gee Cuyugan, features sustainable seafood items that continue the interactive learning experience from the Shedd exhibit with the introduction of an array of seafood dishes. The menu is served family style, encouraging families to enjoy each other’s company all while exploring these new foods with one another. “As a father I understand the importance of opening your children up to new experiences,” said Eric Benamara food and beverage director at The Drake. “We feel this partnership will provide families with a unique opportunity, one that encompasses the learning about new species and exploring new cuisines.” The package includes a 15 minute tour of the exhibit at the Shedd that includes access to the Stingray Touch Exhibit located in a new 20,000-gallon pool, under a tented structure on the aquarium’s south terrace. Here visitors will experience first-hand how a 3 ft long diamond-shaped ray feels as it glides under water, and the movement of approximately 40 cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) and yellow rays (Urobatis jamaicensis). To make reservations contact the Cape Cod Manager, Ted Daskalopoulos at 312.932.4347 Other Recommendations for hands-on experiences this Summer include: We invite you and your special girl in for an experience filled with pampering, bonding and memories with our American Girl Package. The special experience starts on Michigan Avenue exploring all that the American Girl Store has to offer. At night, you and your special girl will return to our deluxe accommodations where fresh baked cookies and milk will be waiting at turn down service with a special bed waiting not just for you, but also a special sized doll bed for your American Girl! Create family fun with your little ones when you explore the endless possibilities of our Explore with LEGOs Package. Your family is sure to build lasting memories with this package, which includes our deluxe accommodations, a personalized welcome letter, fresh baked cookies and milk at turn down service, breakfast in Drake Bros', a voucher for a Roy Rodgers in any of our outlets, complimentary internet and a $50 Gift Card to Lego Store. If the weather outside is frightful, inside it’s delightful at The Drake Hotel’s Palm Court. Here kids won’t just play tea, but actually get to have the real deal! Starting July, every Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. is story time, and present children will be invited to gather around the story wyvern to learn about The Adventures of Drake Bear. Drake Bear is the special bear that if shown in outlets, special rewards are given. Bring your bear to Cape Cod and receive a scoop of ice cream or bring your bear to Palm Court and receive a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers just for bring your Drake Bear along! If the kids are feeling a bit more adventurous, it might be time for The Drake scavenger hunt! Seeing all the parts of the hotel and learning a bit of history along the way is a fun way to spend some time! Looking for some warm sunshine? Head on over to one of the city’s finest beaches to catch some rays or play in the sand. In fact, The Drake Hotel is the only beachfront hotel in the city!

Drake Bear

May 22, 2013

Have you met The Drake Hotel's Drake Bear? Drake Bear has been around for many years, but over the last few years he has been hibernating. This summer he will be back and out in the city! Drake Bear will be making appearances throughout the hotel and even some outside the hotel, so keep your eyes peeled or check out his adventures on Facebook and Instagram. To learn about his story and how he came to the hotel, join us on Thursdays in Palm Court for afternoon tea story time. Every Thursday, June 15 through August 14 at 2:30 p.m., children will be invited to listen to the special Drake Bear story.

To make your afternoon tea reservation, visit OpenTable or contact Shaun Rajah at 312 932 4619/

Hotel Employee Miraculously Recovers Guest’s Wedding Ring in Trash Compactor

May 02, 2013

A $15,000 wedding ring was returned to a guest after being retrieved by a Drake team member from five tons of garbage in the hotel’s trash compactor. “It feels amazing to have it back on my finger,” said the giddy Jodi Eastgate while showing off the wedding ring she feared she would never see again. Eastgate had taken it off the night before, and in the rush of checking out Sunday morning, she forgot to put it back on. It wasn’t until 15 minutes later that she realized it wasn’t on her finger. She rushed back up to her room, thinking she might have knocked the ring into a Cheesecake Factory bag by the bed, but the room had already been cleaned. She described feeling sick and being in tears when the family departed the hotel for the airport. Once at Midway International Airport, Eastgate couldn’t bring herself to leave. Her husband and daughter boarded their flight home, and she headed back to The Drake in hopes there still might be a chance of finding her ring. Back at The Drake, it was confirmed that the Cheesecake Factory bag from her room was already in the hotel’s trash compactor, and couldn’t be searched safely until Monday. Hank Hawerbier, Director of Operations at The Drake said, “I thought it was worse than finding a needle in a haystack, and a lot messier”. Once the compactor was disconnected, Hawerbier asked staff member David Lyons to help search for the ring. Lyons agreed and suited up, but after three hours, hope started fading. Eastgate took a step away and just moments later when she returned, Lyons had started finding pieces of everything Eastgate said might be found in their hotel room trash, including the Cheesecake Factory bag with the ring inside. Lyons took the ring out of the bag and handed it to Eastgate, who immediately put the ring in its rightful -place back on her ring finger- and as of a week later, she still hasn’t taken the wedding ring off. Here is the story from CBS

Play and Stay when you Explore with our New Legos Package

April 02, 2013

Create family fun at The Drake while exploring the Magnificent Mile Lego store. Imagine the endless possibilities with our Lego family fun package which features our deluxe accommodations, a personalized welcome letter, fresh baked cookies and milk at turn down service, a voucher for a special Roy Rodgers beverage in any of our restaurants, breakfast in Drake Bros' and a $50 gift card to the Lego store. Book now and create your family fun this summer at The Drake while exploring the Lego store and all of the Magnificent Mile!

NextGenJazz Series Back to Showcase New Voices in Chicago Jazz

March 04, 2013

After a landmark 2012 season, the Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Drake Hotel are continuing their partnership to present NextGenJazz, a six-concert jazz series at The Drake Hotel. Beginning April 2013, on the first three Thursdays of April, May, June, July, September and October, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., some of Chicago's best new jazz artists lead trios in the elegant and classic Palm Court.  Free and open to the public, the 2013 series kicks off with Makaya McCraven on April 4, 11 and 18. Unlike the early days of jazz, places where young musicians can perform in residence are few and far between.  The NextGenJazz partnership with The Drake provides a great opportunity for the Jazz Institute to connect new audiences to emerging artists and a unique venue for Chicago’s talented young performers to hone their craft.   "We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with The Drake Hotel and are excited to invite new audiences to discover Chicago’s emerging jazz artists at the Palm Court. The Drake provides a unique backdrop, where elegance blends with innovation," says Lauren Deutsch, Jazz Institute of Chicago executive director. The series reflects the Jazz Institute’s commitment to supporting new artists who represent the next evolution of the art form, and enables The Drake to engage with the community as well as provide guests new, interesting entertainment.  "The Drake is, and has been for decades, an integral part of the Chicago community,” says Stefan Gruvberger, hotel manager at The Drake Hotel. “We look forward to continuing our involvement with the city through partnerships with organizations like the Jazz Institute of Chicago and are excited to offer our guests entertainment that is truly Chicago.” For reservations, please contact Shaun Rajah at or call 312-932-4619. A complete 2013 schedule follows.  Schedules and artists are subject to change.  For the most recent information, visit or NextGen Jazz 2013 – Season Schedule April 4, 11, 18 - Makaya McCraven Trio Drummer and producer, Makaya McCraven has quickly established himself as one of the city’s first-call sidemen, thanks to his innate musicality and ceaseless invention. A young veteran who has spent years developing his artistry, working with jazz legends and hip-hop pioneers, McCraven now ushers in a new era of jazz with his peers, bringing fresh sound to venerated traditions. May 2, 9, 16 - Marquis Hill Trio A well-known name on the Chicago Jazz scene, trumpeter Marquis Hill has toured the U.S. and abroad with Dee Alexander, Ernest Dawkins and Willierm Delsifort, and leads his own group the Marquis Hill Black-tet.  With a distinctly clean, clear approach, Hill helps define the sound of Chicago's new generation of jazz artists. He released his debut album “New Gospel” in 2011, and recently released his sophomore album “Sounds of the City” to critical acclaim. June 6, 13, 20 - Junius Paul Trio An established electric and acoustic bassist, Junius Paul combines a variety of genres including jazz, hip-hop, house music, funk, classical and gospel. A multifaceted local, national and international performer, Paul is always in high demand, sharing the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, Fred Anderson, Nona Hendryx and Chico DeBarge.  He has performed at festivals in England, France, Austria, Ghana, Italy, and Brazil.   July 4, 11, 18 - Christopher McBride Trio Raised in a household filled with the sounds of gospel, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, soca, dancehall, world, and R&B, saxophonist Christopher McBride has shared his musical gift with audiences across the globe.  McBride has performed in Ireland, England, Scotland, China, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain sharing the stage with musical greats including Billy Preston, Antonio Hart, John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Talib Kweli, 88 Keys and Milton Mustafa. September 5, 12, 19 - Katie Ernst Trio An accomplished musician and vocalist, bassist Katie Ernst has impressed audiences nationwide with her multifaceted performances. Ernst has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Naperville Jazz Festival, and numerous jazz clubs throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. In 2007, she received a coveted Downbeat Award for her singing and was featured in Downbeat Magazine's June issue. October 3, 10, 17- Rajiv Halim Trio Up and coming saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator Rajiv Halim, took a non-traditional path toward his musical passion. Studying music at Gallery 37 and winning multiple competitions, he initially began his secondary education as a chemical engineering student.  After careful consideration, he revisited and embraced his musical curiosity, expanding his formal education in jazz studies. Halim has performed with Von Freeman, Orbert Davis, Ari Brown, Nicole Mitchell, Maggie Brown, Ernie Adams, Stewart Miller, as well as leading his own groups. About the Jazz Institute of Chicago Founded in 1969, the Jazz Institute of Chicago presents and preserves jazz by nurturing new talent, sustaining active artists, providing educational opportunities, encouraging the creation of new work and making jazz available for all. For more information, visit