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A Day in Wrigleyville and Southport with Dan Holiona

   
Chicago, U.S.A.

Having worked for Four Seasons properties in St. Louis and Orlando before joining Four Seasons Hotel Chicago in fall of 2016, Dan Holiona is our Hotel’s Room Service Assistant Manager. Originally from Honolulu, he is the perfect person to give us tips on what to do in Wrigleyville, as he is a self-confessed “super fan” of the Chicago Cubs.

On a weekend morning, I enjoy walking down Southport Avenue to Julius Meinl, an Austrian coffee shop. This casual spot artfully presents coffee and tea beverages, and it’s a place where people come to relax and engage in conversation. Their spinach, mushroom and feta baked eggs dish is my go-to breakfast entrée. If I wake up with a sweet tooth, I opt for the baked brioche French toast with bananas and cinnamon- scented vanilla custard.

As soon as baseball season begins, you can find me at Wrigley Field cheering on the 2016 World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs! Before the game, I meet my friends at Murphy’s Bleachers, a fixture in Wrigleyville for nearly 80 years. Opening the first rooftop in 1984 (which started a movement in this neighbourhood), Murphy’s touts their award-winning ribs, the famous half-pound burger and “mini Murphy’s burgers.”

Every Sunday afternoon at home games, the first 1,000 kids (13 and younger) at Wrigley Field get the opportunity to run the bases following the game. To participate, kids must receive a wristband provided at the Wrigley Field gates upon entry. In addition, many people don’t know The Park at Wrigley becomes an 8,000 square-foot (745 square metre) ice skating rink – from around Thanksgiving to the end of February (weather permitting).

Located under the Southport train stop, Jeni’s Splendid ice cream is my guilty pleasure. Gourmet ice cream flavours such as churro and bourbon salted caramel are two of my favourites.  Each scoop is served with a freshly baked piece of waffle cone.

Locals grab their favourite bottle of wine from Galleria Liqueurs and head to Tango Sur (it’s one of the many BYO – bring-your-own-liquor - Chicago restaurants), an authentic Argentinian dining experience. This cosy, candlelit restaurant serves the best empanadas and provoleta (Argentinian provolone cheese cooked on the grill with olive oil and roasted peppers).  You can’t eat at Tango Sur without trying one of their parrilla entrees or bife de chorizo (boneless strip steak).

Mexican restaurant Tuco & Blondie boasts “Mexifun” in a red neon light, and diners are reminded of it with its playful interior, including a soft serve ice cream machine near the front. Its large patio is my favourite place to imbibe on an El Diablo cocktail (tequila, chile liqueur, lime, cassis and ginger beer) with the Tijuana Picnic – one of each of their delightful tacos.