The Drake Hotel Announces New Director of Sales & Marketing

August 20, 2015

CHICAGO – August 20, 2015 – The Drake Hotel in Chicago is pleased to announce the appointment of Doug Hewitt as the new director of sales & marketing. Effective August 31, 2015, Hewitt will lead the sales and marketing efforts for the 535-room hotel set in the Gold Coast neighborhood along The Magnificent Mile and recognized by the Historic Hotels of America®.

As Director of Sales & Marketing, Hewitt will be responsible for leading the development and execution of strategic sales and marketing plans in the hotel’s continuing effort to deliver outstanding guest service and financial profitability.   Hewitt joins the hotel's executive committee with an extensive sales and marketing background and will report to Damien McArdle, general manager, The Drake Hotel.  

Hewitt has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and earned degrees in Hotel & Restaurant Management and Business from the University of Wisconsin Stout and in the Culinary Arts from Joliet Junior College.  “Hewitt has significant experience in the hospitality industry with a concentration in sales & marketing and we believe his innovative and results-oriented leadership approach will be essential to the ongoing success of The Drake Hotel,” said McArdle.

Most recently as the Regional Director of Marketing for the Pyramid Hotel Group, Hewitt provided sales support and oversight for three hotels in the portfolio including Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood Luxury brands. Throughout Hewitt’s hospitality career, he has managed convention, business and leisure markets in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States.  In the Chicago Metropolitan area, Hewitt has served in senior sales and marketing management positions for upscale properties, including  Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown and suburban four-star executive business hotels near Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, the Wyndham Lisle/Naperville and the Stouffer Hotels in Chicago and in Oak Brook.  As well, Hewitt has managed the daily sales activity for hotels in premiere meeting and convention destinations, such as Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Chicago, the Hyatt Regency Suites Northwest Atlanta and in Cincinnati, the Hyatt Regency and the Omni Netherland Plaza, one of the Historic Hotels of America®.

Hewitt actively participates in Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois and the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), an initiative of the Convention Industry Council that promotes development and implementation of industry-wide accepted practices to create and enhance efficiency throughout the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. 

A native of Chicago, Hewitt resides in Naperville with his wife of 29 years (Carol), their son (Ryan), daughter (Melanie) and two pug dogs (Ollie & Buster).  He is an avid traveler and frequents the Great Smoky Mountains to partake in adventurous activities like boating and hiking.  In his leisure time, Hewitt enjoys the sport of watching the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs and sporting a nine-iron at the golf course.  Home is where the heart is for Hewitt, whether he is entertaining with fine wine or winding down from his restoration hardware projects.  Going above and beyond to help others in need, Hewitt volunteers with the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Media can access additional information about The Drake Hotel at

The Drake Hotel Brings Light to Going Green

August 07, 2013

Almost 75 years after the introduction of “The Drake” sign to the Chicago skyline, the iconic neon piping is being hauled away. Licensed by the EPA, Olympic Signs of Lombard will properly recycle the used neon materials. Post disposal, Olympic signs will then install environmentally friendly Sloan LED lighting to illuminate the Lake Shore Drive landmark.

The appearance of the iconic 20-foot sign will not drastically change—though the conservation of energy, the safety of the material, and the longevity of the bulbs will grossly increase. The one-of-a-kind original design, created by Olympic Signs, follows The Drake Hotel’s initiative to create a greener Chicago. The Drake Hotel has always been an example of fine hospitality, behind the scenes The Drake is also a model waste-reducing facility.

The Drake Hotel, a leader in hospitality , strives to be a pioneer for green initiatives in the city.  Every outlet within the hotel boasts sustainable, locally farmed items on the menu and uses only 100% recyclable napkins.  Water consumption at The Drake has decreased by 250,000 gallons every year due to conscientious clients choosing to launder their linens every third day, rather than every day. The hotel then donates all gently used linens and toiletries to non-profits and shelters in the area. The Drake Hotel only uses sustainable, locally farmed items and all waste is reduced, reused or recycled.

While “The Drake” sign will still light the Second City’s skyline The Drake hotel will continue to light a greener path towards environmentally friendly hospitality.


Fresh Spring Menus

April 25, 2013

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to get out and enjoy the freshest menus of the season.  The Drake Hotel is welcoming spring with fresh menu items in the Cape Cod and Coq d’Or.   Coq d’Or is known for the seasonal Quiche and this spring is no different. The featured savory baked egg custard with seasonal vegetables in a homemade crust, is served with petite gem lettuce and an heirloom tomato vinaigrette making this fluffy quiche a flavor you’re sure to enjoy.   Also new on the menu is a Mezze Platter which features the freshest flavors of the season with a unique duo of dips. The Fava Bean Hummus incorporates all the jewels of spring with mint, cilantro, green onion, jalapeño, and rice wine vinegar.  The Spiced Eggplant Spread is blended with caramelized onions, dark roasted eggplant, and has a tartness that comes from dried mango and pomegranate.  Served with vegetable crudite and warm Naan bread. Cape Cod also has a fresh menu featuring grilled Mahi Mahi topped with a variety of spring vegetables, making this dish not only a tasty choice but a healthy one too.  The 8 oz Mahi Mahi is grilled and served with a mix of toasted orzo, including red pepper coulis, haricot vert, roasted red bell peppers and served with capers and chopped kalamata olives. Vibrant spring colors shine in the new seasonal Mussels.  The mussels are from Prince Edward Island's mussel industry, which is Canada’s top producer and exporter of rope cultured blue mussels. The one pound of mussels are cooked in white wine, leaks, garlic chips and served with a grilled crostini.

The Drake Hotel Begins Taking Reservations for Mother’s Day Brunch

March 05, 2013

Celebrate Family and Traditions this Mother’s Day at The Drake

The Drake Hotel presents a spectacular day for your mother on May 12, 2013 with our annual brunch. The traditional brunch offers three seatings at 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The whole family, especially your mother, will beam with joy at the elegant spread of sumptuous offerings. "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.” On the brunch menu is a dazzling array of lavish culinary offerings including a multitude of hot and cold entrées. Among the selections are carving stations, a domestic caviar bar, and breakfast favorites such as made-to-order omelets and French toast. Sophisticated dessert displays showcase seasonally inspired cakes, pies, pastries and sweets. While dining, guests will enjoy live music provided by the Eric Schneider Jazz Trio. The adjacent Drake Room will be transformed into a children's room to include entertainment such as face painting, a caricature artist, cookie decorating to name a few. Reservations can be made by calling 312 787 2200 or online at Costs are $120 per person, $50 for children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 (all prices are exclusive of taxes and gratuity). In addition, valet parking will be offered for $13 to brunch guests for up to three hours. Also on May 12, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea will be offered in Palm Court. The afternoon tea, $38 for adults and $20 for children under 12, will include a live harpist, a beauty bar courtesy of Mario Tricoci, a fashion show in addition to the famous tea service. What better way to celebrate your mother than at the historic Drake Hotel? For those who wish to gift their mothers with the extraordinary tea or dining experience any time of the year, gift cards are also available. Media can access additional information about The Drake Hotel at

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