Experience Vintage Chicago
From retro fun at Wrigley Field's centennial birthday to an overnight stay at kitschy-cool Hotel Lincoln, here are places to celebrate vintage Chicago.
The life of a Cubs fan is one of hopeful highs and disappointed lows. But for the past 100 years, the Cubs' Wrigley Field has remained a constant, welcoming fans with the same classic ivy-covered outfield and manual scoreboard for decades.
To celebrate the park's centennial birthday in 2014, retro fun will infuse Sunday home games throughout the season. At these games, fans can check out players in uniforms from years past and rock out to throwback tunes. Kids can nab freebie classic toys, such as yo-yos, Mr. Potato Heads and Rubik's Cubes. And when hunger strikes, fans fuel up on retro flavors like Italian grinders and Elvis' beloved peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches.
In the future, the park plans on $500 million worth of renovations, including a Jumbotron. But for this year, Wrigley's throwback charms remain untouched.
Want to keep the nostalgia flowing outside the park? Here's how.
Kitschy-cool Hotel Lincoln once housed Al Capone and other notable Chicago folk. The 1928 brick facade has changed very little, but the inside is a different story. Funky details abound-like mod chandeliers and a front desk made of old drawer fronts-but the vintage character remains. From $199. (855) 514-8112; hotellincolnchicago.com
A meal at Gene and Georgetti, Chicago's oldest steakhouse, is like a scene from The Godfather. Frozen in 1941, wood-paneled walls shelter velvety red chairs where regulars knock back the stiff martinis and slabs of prime rib that made this restaurant a Chicago standard. Steaks range from $38 to $52. (312) 527-3718; geneandgeorgetti.com
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, founded in 1907, gained notoriety when it became the haunt of Prohibition gangsters. Complete with a flashing marquee sign, trapdoors and underground tunnels for easy getaways, the Green Mill is still known as Chicago's best jazz club. (773) 878-5552; greenmilljazz.com
Stationed alongside 20-plus vintage stores on and around historical North Clark Street, Brimfield is loaded with vintage home decor. Floor-to-ceiling shelves hold woolly blankets from yesteryear, pennant flags overflow from a copper bowl and antique rowing paddles hang overhead. Browse Brimfield's artful collection of found objects, ranging from $1 to $25,000. (773) 271-3501; brimfieldus.com
Bobtail Ice Cream Company creates flavors from recipes handed down through generations. The old-timey parlor is three minutes from Wrigley Field, and Cubby Crunch is a perpetual favorite-as is the creamy butter fudge and vanilla combo called Daley Addiction for the city's legendary six-term mayor. (773) 880-7372; bobtailicecream.com