Introducing Sunday Session at The Guesthouse Hotel

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We're excited to launch a new series of intimate musical performances on Sundays at the Guesthouse Hotel!

Our first guest is acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Darren Hanlon, who will visit the Guesthouse on Sunday, June 28th from 5pm-9pm.

A charming and clever songwriter, Darren has drawn comparisons to Evan Dando and Billy Bragg, but is really his own kettle of fish. An easily distracted crossword addict and itinerant globe trotter, (up until recently he hasn’t lived anywhere for over 5 years) he has wasted little time in establishing himself as a compelling storyteller and prolific songwriter with his observational wit and memorable melodic hooks.

With six acclaimed albums and many radio singles under his belt, Darren is on the verge of releasing his new album 'Where Did You Come From' after an epic adventure in the American South, recording songs in New Orleans, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, and Clarksdale with an array of musicians he met along the way.

The Guesthouse Hotel will be serving up traditional cookout-style fare. Eats are complimentary; please bring along your favorite summertime beverage. There will be a suggested $10 donation at the door that will go directly to our talented musical guest, Darren Hanlon.

Please bring your family and/or a guest and RSVP to pchappell@krugdevelopment.com by Wednesday, June 24th with how many people you will have in your party!

 

Get a taste of Chicago through its Farmers Markets!

Take advantage of your suite's well-appointed gourmet kitchen and outdoor patio with grill—hit up one of the farmers markets near the Guesthouse, stock up on summer's bounty, and make a memorable meal!

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Andersonville Farmers Market 
Every Wednesday (May 20 - October 14) from 3-8pm (til 7pm after Labor Day); at Berwyn and Clark (by the Starbucks)—.5 miles from the Guesthouse.

Lincoln Square Farmers Market
Every Thursday (June 4 - October 29) from 3-8pm (til 7pm after Labor Day); at N Lincoln and W Leland, by the Western Brown Line Station—1.3 miles from the Guesthouse.

Green City Farmers Market
In Lincoln Park, May 2 through October 31, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm. Features chef demos and other hands-on classes.

 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

 It could happen ...

It could happen ...

 Imagine your pre-game hotdogs here ...

Imagine your pre-game hotdogs here ...

It's April—which means that Major League Baseball is in full swing! What's that you smell? Hot dogs? Popcorn? Cracker Jack? The hope that the Cubs will finally bring home a World Series win? (Hey, it was predicted that 2015 was the year for the Cubs in Back to The Future II). 

Okay, enough of that fantasy walk around the bases—did you know the Guesthouse Hotel is only a 10-minute bus ride to Wrigley Field? (Or, if you feel like taking in some sunshine, just a half hour walk straight down Clark Street). That's right—The Guesthouse Hotel is a home run for those looking to have a getaway to The Friendly Confines! When you stay with us, you'll be able to tailgate comfortably from your suite's outdoor balcony furnished with outdoor furniture and a gas grill—so you can fill up on ballpark-style dogs before taking in innings. And, if you stay with us during April and May 2015, your parking is free during home games! Which means, you don't need to worry about looking for a spot in Wrigleyville (which is nearly impossible on game days, trust us).

Not a Cubs fan? Well, we won't fault you. After all, they're the most recent World Series winners this city has seen. To get to Sox's home field from the Guesthouse is pretty easy—just hop on the Red Line at Lawrence and take it to 35th Street (it will take about an hour from door to door). From there, U.S. Cellular Field is just a short walk from the stop. Or, just wait for the Crosstown Classic to come to Wrigley Field—this year it's July 10-12!

It's down to the wire for college basketball's annual championship—and there's no shortage of places to catch the game in the neighborhood (especially with many Badger and Spartans living in the area!). Here are some of our favorites:

Andersonville Brewing Company, 5402 N Clark, Andersonville
Grab one of Andersonville Brewing's in-house beers and root on your favorite team!

The Brixton, 5420 N Clark St, Andersonville
A fan of college basketball, but not a fan of sports bars? The Brixton is the most subdued option for your game watching—their big screen TVs are usually hidden behind mirrors, so you don't even realize they're there. Plus, the carefully-crafted cocktails and modern American dining are a cut about the usual beer and burger pub grub.

Fat Cat Lounge, 4840 N Broadway St, Uptown  

The Rail, 4709 N Damen Ave, Lincoln Square

Feel like staying in to watch the game? Each Guesthouse Hotel suite is equipped with large, flatscreen TVs and sound systems, so you can kick up your feet and enjoy the game in the comfort of your home-away-from-home. Head to the nearby grocery store, Mariano's, to stock up on Game Day snacks or fire up your suite's gas grill to complete your court-side experience!

How to keep your cool in Chicago, when it's really, really cold.

It's cold in Chicago today. Like, stupid cold. It's actually 15 degrees warmer at the North Pole right now. But that doesn't mean you can't have some fun in the city—here are a few ways you can beat the chilly temps, and in some cases, embrace them. 

GET COZY IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE

Besides the fireplaces you can enjoy at the Guesthouse Hotel (go ahead, make yourself comfortable on one of those big leather couches in the Club Room and have a cup of coffee), there are some great local spots where you can grab a seat by the fire and enjoy a drink or a meal. 

THE GRAFTON PUB (Lincoln Square)
This lively pub in Lincoln Square features a dark and cozy back room warmed by a fireplace. Grab a table back there, enjoy a few pints of Guinness and some hearty, heartwarming Irish food like lamb stew or fish and chips. On Sunday nights from 5-8pm, you can be entertained by live traditional Irish folk music (and you can bring your own instrument and join in, too!).

THE BRIXTON (Andersonville)
One of the neighborhood's best-kept secrets, for both its menu and its ambiance is The Brixton. Head on to the upstairs lounge for a seat in front of its fireplace, while you sip on a carefully crafted cocktail (named after a few Clash songs, naturally). But you'd be remiss to leave without trying one of the Brixton's fantastic entrées—Pork belly, octopus, and risotto are just a few of the dishes the shine at this modern American bistro.

SIMON'S TAVERN (Andersonville) 
Known to locals as "The Anchor of Andersonville," Simon's harkens back to Andersonville's heyday as a Swedish enclave. Grab one of the couches in the back—in front of the fireplace—and order a glögg, a seasonal mulled-wine that will warm your bones.

FOUNTAINHEAD (Ravenswood)
So, the fireplace here is near the front, and near the windows, so it's not sure how much warming it will do—but it's a great bar to hunker down in, with its fantastic selection of craft beer and an inventive menu from Chef Cleetus Friedman.


TAKE TO THE ICE 

If you're brave enough to brave the cold, then check out these options for some outdoor fun!

MILLENNIUM PARK ICE SKATING RINK (Downtown)
$12 will get you a skate rental and time on the ice at the rink at Chicago's famous Millennium Park—go here for more information.

PARSON'S CHICKEN AND FISH (Logan Square) 
This hip fried chicken and fish joint decided to make the best of the winter by turning its large outdoor space (which is usually filled by picnic tables and a ping pong during the summer), into a skate shack. For some ice on ice, after taking off your skates, try one of Parson's' Negroni slushies. 

KAISER TIGER (West Loop)
Like Parson's, sausage and beer hot spot Kaiser Tiger has a gorgeous beer garden, but can't use it in the winter. So, they installed two curling rinks in their backyard. Yep, that's right, you can grab a broom and play this oversized version of outdoor, icy shuffleboard. Check out the fine print before hand, however. 

The Guesthouse Hotel's debut on the Travel Channel!

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The Guesthouse Hotel recently filmed for a new show for Travel Channel, "Hotel Showdown," where four independent hoteliers face-off to win a $25,000 prize for their property! Join us and find out how our owner Dave Krug and The Guesthouse Hotel did! Tune into the Travel Channel on Tuesday, February 10 at 9PM ET/PT (that's 8PM Guesthouse time!) to find out how we did! For the scoop on our episode, check out DNAInfo.

Celebrate Chicago Restaurant Week!

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It's no secret that Chicago's dining scene is one of the world's best, from local hole-in-the-walls that showcase local flavor, like Italian beef and hot dog stands, to Michelin-starred restaurants like Alinea and Grace. Every year, the city opens its kitchens for Chicago Restaurant Week (and this year it's 2 weeks!), where hundreds of restaurants offer a taste of Chicago with specially-priced and specially-made  prix fixe menus. 

We asked Guesthouse staff some of the participating restaurants they'd recommend for a Chicago Restaurant Week visit (as you'll see, nearby favorites Bistro Campagne and Big Jones got multiple votes!)—you've got until February 12 to do some culinary exploration!

"I would recommend Big Jones mainly for its fried chicken and overall New Orleans-inspired menu (especially as the calendar inches closer to Lent and Mardi Gras). Also was happy to learn they are a true farm-to-table restaurant and serve a certified organic menu." —Dave

"Located just minutes from The Guesthouse Hotel in the heart of Lincoln Square, Bistro Campagne is a my favorite true French bistro in Chicago.  They do a fantastic job at capturing the qualities of the many small neighborhood bistros in Paris and rural France.  In addition to their charming blend of prairie-inspired decor and lively gallic spirit, it is their classic bistro fare that makes Bistro Campagne a true 'change-your-life' experience and a 'must do' while in Chicago." —Patrick

"My choice would be Xoco. It's a good spot for a quick and casual, yet delicious and reasonably-priced meal downtown.  Plus they have churros and hot chocolate for dessert!" —Rosemary

"Bistro Campagne—The ambiance transports you to France, the small bar is fantastic to enjoy an apertivo. The french onion soup and Steak Frites are among some of the best I've had!" —Shelly

"Frontera Grill. They have the best drink specials. Fantastic food and the rotating menu mean you never eat anything twice! Great flavors and great service. Their staff is very knowledgable and are able to lead you to exactly what you didn't know you wanted." —Sarah

"Big Jones! Besides having an amazing brunch in the garden, Big Jones gives me a little taste of southern hospitality and goodness I need every once in a while. The cornbread is heavenly!" —Rick

"Salero and Wood—wonderful food, caring and knowledgeable staff." —Voni

"Yusho is a fantastically designed spot in Logan Square that specializes in Asian street food like steam buns and yakitori. The rotating flavors of soft serve ice cream, like hibiscus, sweet corn, or thai basil with coconut, are also not to be missed." —Jenny

The Guesthouse Hotel is now Chicago's only Select Registry property!

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We're honored to be named a member of Select Registry!

Select Registry is a portfolio of more than 300 premier inns, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels throughout North America, so The Guesthouse Hotel is in exclusive company! But not only are we the cream of the crop in North America, we're the only property in Chicago to hold this status.

How did we land on this well-curated list of independently-owned places to lay your head? Well, we passed an unannounced, rigorous 200-point quality assurance inspection to earn a spot in the Registry—and to maintain our status, future anonymous inspections will be conducted in order to maintain our membership. 

Here's what the folks at Select Registry had to say: “The Guesthouse Hotel exemplifies the high quality and exceptional service championed by Select Registry,” said Select Registry Director of Member Services, Carol Riggs. “Our member properties share an unparalleled standard of excellence; The Guesthouse Hotel offers this quality, plus a distinctive, authentic experience to its guests. We're proud to welcome The Guesthouse Hotel to our membership."

And we're happy to be included! It's just one more way we can ensure that your stay is top-notch and you have every opportunity to live like a local.

Donate to Sinai Children's Hospital and save at The Collection!

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Brighten a child's day this holiday season—donate to the Sinai Children's Hospital Toy Drive! Drop off your donation at The Guesthouse Hotel, and as a thank you, we're offing 20% off any item in our in-house boutique, The Collection!

All you need to do is drop off a new and unwrapped toy (for kids aged newborn to 17 years old) to our Lobby by Thursday, December 18. 

 

Hats off to North Park University's Winter Graduates!

NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY WINTER COMMENCEMENT

The Guesthouse Hotel congratulates all December graduates of North Park University and their families.  We still have rooms available, and extend a special offer to those booking with us for their stay during graduation weekend (December 12, 2014).

North Park University Winter Commencement attendees can use Promo code NPU2014 for 10% off your stay (Valid for new reservations; nightly minimums may apply).

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North Park University Winter Commencement
Friday, December 12, 7:30 pm
Carlson Gymnasium
http://www.northpark.edu/commencement

Congrats to Uptown's 42 Grams on its Two Michelin Stars!

 via 42 Grams in Uptown

via 42 Grams in Uptown

It's no secret that Chicago is one of the world's fine-dining meccas—Charlie Trotter paved the way for that distinction, and many of his former chefs continue to carry the acclaim. Restaurants like Alinea and Grace (which both received three Michelin stars this year—the highest honor a place can receive), EL Ideas, Schwa, and Blackbird are constantly, and perhaps more accessibly, pushing the envelop of fine dining in the country.

At the intersection of Uptown, Lincoln Square and Andersonville, the Guesthouse Hotel is proud to be in the neighborhood of three 2015 Michelin Star recipients: 

42 Grams (Uptown) - Two Michelin Stars
This 10-month-old BYO spot by with a former Trotter and Alinea alum at the head of the kitchen received acclaim early for its modern-thinking tasting menu. Seats are available via tickets on the restaurant's site—and if you're feeling intimidated by the BYO concept, the 42 Grams will email you suggested wine pairings a few days before your meal. Located at 4662 N Broadway, 42 Grams is just a 15 minute walk, or a short cab ride, away from the Hotel.

Elizabeth (Lincoln Square) - One Michelin Star
Like 42 Grams, Elizabeth started as an "underground dining" concept before it became a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Elizabeth's chef Iliana Regan builds her tasting menus around Nordic concept of foraging (or "New Gatherer," as she likes to call it), so your dining experience is always a reflection of the season, making it a more intimate meal. Like 42 Grams, seating is ticketed. Located in Lincoln Square at 4835 N Western Ave, Elizabeth is a straight shot West down Lawrence Ave, via a short cab ride or the bus.

Goosefoot (Lincoln Square) - One Michelin Star
This BYO spot (sensing a really awesome trend in Chicago's fine dining destinations?) focuses on modern, but approachable, tasting menus. Seats are available via reservation. Can't make it in for a meal? Stop by next door to their just-opened market, Goosefoot Food & Wine. Located at 2656 W Lawrence, a short cab ride or hopping on the Lawrence bus will get you right there.

Ready to venture outside of the neighborhood for more fine dining? Here's a list of all the Chicago 2015 Michelin award winners.

Join us for the Lincoln Square / Ravenswood Wine Stroll!

We're proud to be a sponsor of this year's fall Wine Stroll in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood, taking place on Thursday, November 6 from 6:30-9:30p! More than two dozen reds and whites (along with some tasty bites!) will be sampled at participating businesses in the neighborhood—it will be vintner wonderland! 

There's still time to buy tickets!

We'll also be on hand pouring some wine—stop by the Lillstreet Art Center during the stroll for a taste of the Aussie vineyard, Mollydooker.

And if you want more of a sneak peek, tune into WGN Radio tonight at 8:35p Central Time to hear our Simona talk more about the event and the wine that will be poured!

Indulge your sweet tooth ... and save!

No tricks here! On Sunday, take a tour of Andersonville via a gourmet trick-and-treat experience, the Andersonville Dessert Crawl! Meet at the Swedish American Museum, receive a passport, and then pop into local businesses that will dish up sweet treats, from Swedish favorites like rice pudding with lingonberries, or local producers like Terry's Toffee.

But we'll even sweeten the pot further! Show us your admission ticket and we'll discount your stay $20 this weekend so you can ride out that sugar rush! 

Limited to new hotel reservations and only one $20 discount can be applied per suite. Reservations must be made by calling The Guesthouse Hotel directly at 773-564-9568. Guest must show valid Dessert Crawl admission ticket at check-in to receive discount. 

It's the Night of 100 pARTies—and we're hosting one!

Come on down to The Guesthouse Hotel tonight from 6-10pm for the kick off of Andersonville's Arts Weekend! We're proud to one of the stops on The Night of 100 pARTies, hosting photographer Kyle V Smith as the presenting artist. So be sure to stop by and check out Kyle's exhibit (and have some wine)!

Can't make it in tonight? You'll be able to view Kyle's photography all weekend—just stop by The Guesthouse Hotel and say "Hi!"

Mollydooker Wine Dinner and Tasting Events

An exclusive wine dinner with Mollydooker Wines!
Thursday, September 18, 6pm

Join Mollydooker Wines cellar door manager Andrew Brown as he presents a wine tutorial on seven wines from Winemakers Sarah & Sparky Marquis, accompanied by a three course dinner by RIVER VALLEY RANCH & KITCHENS

Luke Marquis, Sarah & Sparky’s very own “blue eyed boy”, will also be at the dinner and is really looking forward to a great night of Mollydooker wine tasting and storytelling, complemented by great food in an amazing venue.

Tickets are $125 per person and include a three-course dinner with wine pairings (check out the inspired menu below!)

WINE DINNER MENU:

Cocktail Hour: Miss Molly sparkling Shiraz

Amuse Bouche: Brown sugar and pepper smoked trout with house made lemon dill and Kilgus Farms creme fraiche on Simple Bakery mushroom baguette crostini, served with The Violinist Verdelho.

First Course: Deconstructed Mushroom Tart with The Gigglepot Creme Anglaise, paired with The Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon and Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz. 

Main Course: Miller Farms Duck Breast with Duck Roulade and Squash Pancetta Risotto with Braised Farm Greens and a Duck Infused Beurre Rouge made from the Enchanted Path, paired with Carnival of Love Shiraz and Enchanted Path Shiraz-Cabernet blend.

Dessert: Vanilla and Blueberry Panna Cotta with an Oatmeal Tuile.

Call the Guesthouse at (773) 564-9568 to book your tickets—only 30 seats are available to this special event!

 

A Mollydooker Wines tasting event!
Friday, September 19, 4-7pm

Join Mollydooker Wines cellar door manager Andrew Brown as he presents five wines from this Australian winery: 

• Miss Molly Sparkling Shiraz
• The Violinist Verdelho
• The Boxer Shiraz
• The Scooter Merlot
• The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon

This event is free and open to all! So come by, say “G’day!,” and enjoy some great wine! 

Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl

Come take a bite out of the neighborhood at the annual Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl, on Wednesday, August 13 from 6PM – 9PM. Enjoy your favorites, find new spots to eat, and meet lots of neighbors and friends. Held in conjunction with the Andersonville Farmers Market, this evening is sure to be a foodie’s dream come true!

Choose from the SALT Route or the PEPPER Route, both filled with great eats. Or do THE WHOLE ENCHILADA and do BOTH routes!  Tickets for one route are $25 in advance and $30 at the door; for The Whole Enchilada, tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!

The Guesthouse Hotel Welcomes Author Kathryn Hamm

The Guesthouse Hotel is proud to welcome author Kathryn Hamm for a signing of her new book, "The New Art of Capturing Love," a collection of wedding photography celebrating same-sex marriages. Hamm, who is also the president of Gayweddings.com, will be on hand to talk about the book on Tuesday, August 12 at The Guesthouse Hotel. This event is free, but there are limited seats available—RSVP to rverkler@theguesthousehotel.com to reserve a spot!

Read the Chicago Tribune review of "The New Art of Capturing Love."