Whether you blame Cubs mania, gentrification or the inextricable relationship between the two, there’s no denying it:
Wrigleyville is well and truly having its moment.
The ideal hub from which to explore it? The spankin’ new Wheelhouse Hotel, where each of the 21 rooms is festooned with its own unique amenities and appointments. From terraced penthouse suites to family-friendly bunk rooms, it’s got everything you need for a quick staycation or hosting out-of-towners.
And we’ve got the skinny on everything that makes the hotel — and the surrounding environs — exactly the place to put someone up (including yourself) for the weekend.
Image via The Wheelhouse
1. It’s a True “Boutique”
The qualifier gets thrown around far too often these days. In the truest sense, it refers to a small, intimate hotel in an urban center, where hands-on customer service and unique room design take precedence. Despite what you might have heard, The Thompson (247 rooms) is not a boutique. Wrigleyville’s other new hot spot, The Zachary (173 rooms), is not a boutique. But the Wheelhouse, like its sister hotel downtown, FieldHouse Jones, is very much a boutique. Among the 21 rooms, you’ll find six different arrangements, from terraced penthouses and kings with “sofa lounges” to bunk rooms meant to serve families or groups of friends. The low occupancy count also means you’ll get a personal touch you won’t find from bigger-box operations: the staff at The Wheelhouse are at the ready to see after every aspect of your stay, from Cubs tickets to spa visits to dinner reservations.
Image via The Wheelhouse
2. They Pull Off the Ballpark Theme ... Tastefully
When you think “theme” hotel, you probably picture shag carpets, beds shaped like spaceships and a duvet you wouldn’t dare run under a blacklight. But The Wheelhouse, which sits down the block from America’s most famous ballpark, elegantly evinces vintage baseball and Americana at every turn. You’ve got the expertly curated art and artifacts (the massive vintage scoreboard in the lobby, Yogi Berra quotes, an old gas station sign in the bar that’s updated daily with the going rate for Cubs tickets). You’ve got the in-room snacks (Big League Chew and artisanal pretzels). And you’ve got the old-school candy store (“Bodega”) in the lobby.
Image via Union Pizzeria
3. The Eat-and-Drink Options On-Site Are Stellar
The dining comes compliments of Union Pizzeria, a Detroit-style pizza shop with extant locations in Evanston and the Revival Food Hall. If you’re not familiar, Detroit-style refers to a pan-baked, rectangular, deep-dish (though not Chicago deep) pie. The Wheelhouse’s Union Full Board is open now (along with the rooftop bar), while a speakeasy called Tinkers to Evers is soon to follow.
Image via Tom Gallagher
4. The Eat-and-Drink Options Off-Site Are Stellar
We’ve sung the praises of many a Wrigleyville spot before. Some of our favorites? Mordecai, a bi-level cocktail lounge with refined bar bites; Dutch and Doc’s, a bistro serving prime boiled steaks and fried chicken sandwiches; and Nisei Lounge, the quintessential Cubs dive that stays open late.
5. It’s September, and the Cubs Are First in the Division
If things go according to plan, you may need a room in the neighborhood come late October. Book now and cross your fingers.