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2018 CHICAGO HOT LIST

Your preview of 10 exciting new hotels, restaurants and event venues on the Chicago meetings scene.

We know you’re always on the hunt for the latest and the greatest to put on your city watch list. These 10 hotspots, set to make their debut in 2017/2018, are sure to cause a buzz!

1. ODYSSEY CHICAGO RIVER EXPERIENCE

Odyssey Chicago River Experience

Take your next event out on the water with the new Odyssey Chicago River Experience. Set to open in summer 2018, this single-level, glass-enclosed boat will ply the waters of the Chicago River, offering stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding architecture. The vessel is available for full and partial charters, accommodating a maximum of 200 guests. Operating year-round, the climate-controlled Odyssey will offer upscale brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail menus. The cruise boards on the north side of the Chicago River, near NBC Tower.

2. STRATFORD ON THE PARK

Lettuce Entertain You recently opened Stratford on the Park, a new private event venue housed in the historic Belden-Stratford building. Located in a picturesque setting across from the Lincoln Park Conservatory, this elegant space can accommodate 150 for a seated dinner or 200 for a cocktail reception.

3. THEATER ON THE LAKE/THE LAKEFRONT RESTAURANT

The Lakefront Restaurant at Theater on the Lake

Acclaimed Chicago chef Cleetus Friedman helms The Lakefront Restaurant, part of the newly revamped Theater on the Lake, which reopened in October 2017. The 125-seat farm-centric restaurant can host private dinners, and features a seasonal 80-seat Skyline Patio with breathtaking Lake Michigan and skyline views. The now year-round Theater on the Lake includes a 330-seat mainstage (productions will begin in summer 2018), along with a flexible event space that can accommodate up to 1,500 guests.

4. GOOSE ISLAND BARREL HOUSE

Housed within the industrial building where it ages its world-class beers, Goose Island Beer Co. opened its stunning new event space, the Goose Island Barrel House, in September 2017. Goose Island has teamed up with celebrity chef Stephanie Izard’s Goat Group Catering to provide cuisine for everything from private curated beer dinners to reception-style events for up to 225 guests.

5. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

Acclaimed Chicago chefs Cosmo Goss and Erling Wu-Bower have joined forces to form Underscore Hospitality, with Pacific Standard Time as their first restaurant venture. The new restaurant, featuring healthful California cuisine, including house-made flatbreads and plenty of locally sourced veggies, is scheduled to open in winter 2017 in River North’s former Tavernita space.

6. THE HILTON'S AT MCCORMICK PLACE

The Hilton’s at McCormick Place is anything but conventional. Combining the Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Home2 Suites by Hilton brands under one roof. Featuring choice traveler accommodations, value-added amenities, and a direct connection via indoor sky bridge to Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, enjoy the height of comfort, convenience, and productivity when you stay at the Hilton’s at McCormick Place. Savor a delicious meal in one of our two on-site restaurants, sample a signature cocktail, or simply enjoy a stunning view of the City from our rooftop lounge. Home to 466 guest rooms and suites, 6,600 sq. ft. of event space, and 3 internationally recognized brands, there’s a little something for everyone at the Hilton Tri-Brand Hotel McCormick Place!

7. HOTEL JULIAN

The former 1916 Atlantic Bank Building on Michigan Avenue is currently undergoing renovation, with the goal of reopening as the Hotel Julian in fall 2018. With its iconic terracotta facade restored, the new hotel (just steps from Millennium Park) will include a ground-floor restaurant, About Last Knife, which will feature a folding glass wall separating its indoor and outdoor seating areas. The hotel is named for St. Julian Hospitaller, the patron saint of hospitality and innkeepers.

8. HOTEL ZACHARY

Hotel Zachary

Named for visionary Wrigley Field architect and Chicago native Zachary Taylor Davis, the new seven-story Hotel Zachary will open in 2018 across from the home of the Chicago Cubs in Wrigleyville. The 175-room boutique hotel will house local dining favorites Big Star and Smoke Daddy. It overlooks the popular Park at Wrigley, site of special events (such as baseball game screenings and live music performances), as well as restaurants that include the Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern.

9. ST. JANE CHICAGO

The Hard Rock Hotel is undergoing renovation and rebranding, and will reopen in late Spring 2018 as the St. Jane Chicago, named for the legendary activist and social worker Jane Addams. Changes to the historic Carbide & Carbon Building include upgraded guest rooms, redesigned event venues and a new 24th floor lounge with outdoor space.

10. SOPHY HYDE PARK

Sophy Hyde Park

Located close to the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, the 98-room Sophy Hyde Park hotel is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018. It will feature design elements inspired by the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (held in Chicago), and will offer a restaurant, lounge and library on its ground floor. Contemporary artwork by Chicago artists will be showcased throughout the hotel.

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