Chicago, birthplace to the skyscraper, is known worldwide for its architecture. One of the most popular activities of our guests at the Old Chicago Inn is the Architectural river cruise. It is an amazing way to see Chicago’s skyline and learn about our architectural history. But there is so much more to the city than just the loop and our iconic tall buildings. This weekend is your chance to see and learn so much more about our city’s spaces.

This Saturday and Sunday marks the return of Open House Chicago (OHC) now in its eighth year. The movement of free open house events began in London in 1992. In the short time since OHC began it has evolved into the second largest event of its kind in the world. Gorgeous theaters, re-purposed mansions, private clubs, unique office and industrial spaces as well as significant sacred spaces are the types of spaces the public will have access to this weekend all over the city of Chicago.

The Old Chicago Inn’s Room 13 is very proud to be on this list. And will be open to the public this weekend only- Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 12 noon - no reservation required! We hope you’ll join us and explore our beautiful and unique neighborhood this week. Here is complete information and a list of open spaces during OHC.

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Goin' Country

This Saturday Luke Bryan returns to play Wrigley Field.  Ticket holders will be happy to hear that Gallagher Way, the park adjacent to Wrigley Field, will open its gates at approximately 2 p.m.,  a good three hours before the scheduled start of the concert at 5 p.m. That's as close as it gets to tailgating in the city!   Bryan, a Georgia native, will bring a slew of special guests along with him including:  Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce and DJ Rock.  The show is not yet sold out, so if you're hankerin' for some country music go to the Cubs website to buy tickets direct. 

Nothing goes better with Country Music than beer and BBQ so when you head down to Wrigley Field check out a few of our local BBQ joints.  Old Crow's Wrigley location is a local favorite specializing in Asian influenced BBQ and Southern style cocktails. We recommend the beer can chicken washed down with the Kentucky Breakfast, a bourbon cocktail with, yes, orange marmalade as  one of its components.   New to the neighborhood (their first location is in Wicker Park) and very close to the park is Smoke Daddy.   It's worth coming early to get a spot at this popular joint. Our favorites here are the ribs and the burnt ends.  Both Old Crow and Smoke Daddy have fabulous rooftops seating.   

If you arrived in Chicago and forgot your favorite stetson hat or plaid shirt, fear not... we know the best place for western wear in the entire city.  Alcala's, at 1733 W. Chicago Avenue, is the city's most extensive collection of authentic western garb for the entire family. Alcala's has been around since 1972 and their Texas-size sign, complete with bucking mustang, reflects the tremendous inventory they boast!  From embroidered shirts to bolo ties, belt buckets to cowboy boots...Alcala's will have you looking your best for the Luke Bryan concert.  

Whether in town for a country concert or something else we hope you'll enjoy your time in Chicago. 

All-American Pass Times - Baseball, Hot Dogs and Fireworks

If you are visiting us the week, we look forward to celebrating the Forth of July with you!   The Cubs are at home all week and there's nothing better than enjoying America's past time to celebrate our independence.  At the ball park you can indulge in another all-american favorite - the hot dog!  In the stands hot dogs are served out of hot box carried by vendors - nice and steamy - with packets of ketchup, mustard and relish on request.  These hot dogs may be basic but sometimes there's just nothing better.  If you are craving something fancier and happen to be in the bleacher - head over to Hot Doug's stand where you can get a foodie fix of sausage.  Menu items rotate but you'll find things like "The Bill Bonham" described as atomic pork sausage with cherry marmalade and smoked gouda cheese or "The Thad Bosley" which the menus declares is a Portuguese Lingica sausage with smoked paprika mustard and Swiss cheese.   Most items are $10.

If you're not going to Wrigley, or if you still want more hot dogs, we have one of the best Chicago Style hot dog stands just a few blocks from the Old Chicago Inn.  Murphy's Red Hots has been in Lakeview since the mid 1980s.  The restaurant,at 1211 West Belmont, is a nostalgic step back in time and offers the classic Chicago dog - a char-grilled or boiled Vienna Beef hot dog with all the fixins. Which in Chicago means NO ketchup - but lots of other toppings that I call the salad: bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato, a pickle spear, sport peppers, yellow mustard and a dash of celery salt.  This is a great stop for guests who want to have a true Chicago treat!

After all those hot dogs you might want a good walk.  Head down to the lake front for a great view of the Chicago fireworks on Wednesday night.  The city's display will start at 9:30 pm on Wednesday. The fireworks are launched from Navy Pier and can be easily seen from the lakefront park without having to go downtown. Just a little over a mile walking east on Belmont will get you to some prime viewing.  

Happy Forth of July!