By Bridget Guyon and Pauline Kochou
The Hotel Zachary is Wrigleyville’s newest addition to the infamous Chicago neighborhood. Home of the Chicago Cubs, and a major hub of bars and parties, Wrigleyville has a long-standing reputation of rowdy, uncontrollable behavior.
So how does an upscale boutique hotel like Hotel Zachary fit in with Wrigleyville and all of its antics?
Many partygoers were notably upset when they realized that McDonald’s had been torn down in order to make room for the new hotel. Considering that McDonald’s is cost effective and typically open late, it was understandable that when everyone’s go-to restaurant for drunk food at 3 in the morning closed down, that there were many people who weren’t exactly looking forward to the opening of the hotel.
Luckily, McDonald’s owns the land where the Hotel Zachary was built. Part of the deal for the building of the hotel was that there would be a McDonald’s in the hotel. Open 24 hours and fully equipped with a modern design and self checkout stations, the brand new McDonalds has not disappointed Wrigley patrons.
Not only is the Hotel Zachary, as well as its attached establishments, polished and brand new, but it is literally right across the street from Wrigley Field – a few steps out the door and you’re already at the game, in addition to the view of the stadium from the hotel itself. Along with the new lustrous look, the ground floor contains several brand new restaurants, a bank, and a bar.
With a total of 173 rooms, which includes 20 suites, the Hotel Zachary also has a 24 hour gym available for their guests and overnight parking as well. As of March 30, 2018 this is the first hotel that is run by the Ricketts family (owners of the Chicago Cubs and Hickory Street Capital) and have gone above and beyond with the upscale quality of the hotel, while still remaining true to the culture and spirit of the city of Chicago. They announced their intent of building the hotel in September of 2016, and managed to open their doors just shy of two years later in 2018.
The Hotel Zachary while construction was still underway.
Toussaint Stevens, who supervises the front door, offered a tour of the hotel and explained the history behind it, and how it fits in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
“Business has been great since we’ve opened,” he said. “This is a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) hotel, so many Chicago travelers that are members have chosen to stay here, especially with the great location in Wrigleyville.”
The most notable thing once you walk in through the doors of the Hotel Zachary, is the grand staircase that houses two large portraits of Zachary Taylor Davis, the Chicago architect that inspired the building and name of the hotel, and his wife Alma.
On the second floor is another sophisticated bar and eating area, along with a great long table where guests and non-guests may utilize for studying or business purposes and an outdoor patio area with a grand fireplace and direct view of Wrigley Field.
The second floor is also home to the Alma Room; a dining room dedicated to the wife of Zachary Davis. The dining room is typically booked and reserved for exclusive special events. The Alma Room is also home to the original china owned by the Davis family and is put on glass display. There is also a beautiful canvas painting with parts of a love letter from Alma to Davis that is on the wall, with the words “Love, Alma” written in neon lights. Click here for an exclusive 360 panoramic view of the Alma Room.
According to Stevens, The Hotel Zachary has a very respectable and polished demeanor. Stevens even made sure to emphasize that all of the leather in the hotel was designed specifically to look like the inside of a baseball glove, staying true to baseball and Chicago culture. Stevens also mentioned, “Families with children, and even fans of the opposing teams stay here.”
However, although a beautiful establishment, there was still the question of how this brand new suave hotel fit in to the party culture in Wrigleyville. When asked if the craziness has ever made its way into the hotel, Stevens replied by saying, “That stuff usually stays outside, closer to the bars in the area. People come inside and see what kind of place this is and know that this isn’t the place for that type of behavior.”
Ben Gulino, the general manager of Old Crow Smokehouse located down the street from the Hotel Zachary, expressed some apprehensions over the construction of the new hotel, mainly the restaurants that were being built along with it saying, “Most bars in the area were worried about losing business to the new establishments and being outperformed by them.”
However, they have not seen a significant decrease in overall sales and have learned that the restaurants in hotel offer a different environment and attract a different crowd than that of the older bars on Clark Street.
It is not an exaggeration that the Hotel Zachary is an upscale establishment, despite the reputation of the rest of the neighborhood. Stevens explained that on a non-game day a room can cost about $200 and up per night. Game days are usually about $350-375 and up per night.
Though it was great to get an inside perspective from Stevens, an external perspective is also critical when considering the overall effect of the hotel. Long time resident of the area, Lisa Abolt has owned her home on Marshfield and Roscoe for over a decade. Lisa was very optimistic about the new Hotel.
Abolt and her family recently went to the Hotel Zachary for drinks shortly after it had opened it doors, “The hotel is just absolutely fabulous, and it’s in a great location that really fits in to the realm of a World Series winning team.”
Abolt mentioned that she was unsure of how the hotel would fit in with the neighborhood at first but after visiting and seeing the type of establishment that was created, she became a fan. Abolt believes that the Hotel Zachary in fact brings a classy vibe to “a dive-bar ridden area and that people will now have the option be able to enjoy something other than $3 Bud Lights.”
In addition to the brand new McDonald’s, there are several new dining establishments; Big Star, Smoke Daddy, Mordecai, even a West Town Bakery. Guests and neighborhood locals have been provided with access to more upscale and quality dining options.
With the addition of the Hotel Zachary and all that has come along with it, Wrigley is sure to see an influx of tourism, from people all around the world, and even those who call Chicago their home.
To reserve your stay at the Hotel Zachary, visit their official website here.