DESTINATION | CHICAGO
Zachary (hotelzachary.com), a 173room boutique hotel inspired by the designs of renowned architect and Chicagoan Zachary Taylor Davis, who also happened to design Wrigley Field. And while the area offers dozens of sports bars, I recommend Mordecai (mordecaichicago.com) the sleek cocktail bar from Matthias Merges, who worked under the legendary chef Charlie Trotter for 14 years. The bar itself is named after former Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, who lost two fingers on his right hand in a farm machinery accident as a child but still developed the ability to throw a slippery curveball. On the menu you’ll find plenty of quality drinks and thoughtful bar bites, such as the excellent beer-battered cheese curds with scallion, bonito, togarashi and black garlic aioli. Finally, a visit to the Globe Pub (see “Essentials” on page 70) on West Irving Park Road should also be on any serious sports fan’s itinerary. As quite possibly the best sports bar in Chicago, the Globe televises everything from rugby games to Champions League matches to the annual Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race. Even Rod Stewart used to stop in to watch football matches here while on tour. In the mid-1800s, a Chicagobased sporting man looked very different to today’s enthusiastic spectator. Spending much of his time at the racetrack, bar – or brothel – absorbed by the bareknuckle boxers of the day and willing to place the kind of wagers that can potentially lead to painful consequences, the sporting man was considered a headache by the clergy, businessmen and middle class. Fortunately, Chicago has grown out of that phase and today boasts some of the most historic sports teams and stadiums in America, offering a feast for the senses and a damn good time. 68 |
Clockwise from above, downtime zoning in the lobby of Hotel Zachary; pre-match fuel of chilled somen noodles; merchandise up for grabs outside Wrigley Field.