In most respects, 2020 has been a pretty terrible year for the hospitality industry, especially the hotel sector that lost more than 6.5 million jobs so far globally. Despite vaccinations having kicked off in most parts of the country, including here in the Windy City, there are still fears that the worst of the pandemic may be yet to pass.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do today to chip to thank the Chicago service industry for keeping us fed during the pandemic. We’re super happy to let you know that you can now order superb pre-made cocktails which support hospitality service workers in Chicago.
That’s right. Kimpton Gray Hotel, under the creative stewardship of Chef Concierge Bobby Gonzalez, has launched a rotating Cocktail Concierge Series of hand-crafted bottled cocktails that not only honor the service workers but also support the mental wellbeing of hospitality professionals in Chicago.
An award-winning concierge chef with a colorful career in the industry, Bobby Gonzalez is going out of his way to conduct surprise-and-delight deliveries of these fabulous cocktails to Chicagoans who can’t get to the hotel for pick-ups. So, when you order these hand-crafted cocktails from the Gray Hotel, you’ll not only enjoy the works of a pro, but each sip will also make you feel good on the inside.
Bobby Gonzalez, the Director of Concierge Services at Kimpton Gray Hotel, commented:
“Everything we accomplish, everything we overcome, and everything we celebrate [is] as a team. This holiday season at the Gray Hotel, we want to give guests a glimpse of our teams together to spread love and unity as we enter a new year.”
Honoring hotel staff that braved the pandemic
The cocktails are intended to figuratively and literally honor the hotel staff members who kept the lights on despite the challenges thrown at them by the pandemic. Working through a pandemic with a job and loved ones to worry about is not a small feat, which is why this cocktail series is a godsend.
The Kimpton Gray Hotel (or just The Gray), nestled in the historic New York Life Insurance Building at 122 W. Monroe Street, is one of the only few hotels in Chicago that managed to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the latest 4-diamond hotel to enter Chicago’s burgeoning hospitality scene.
The Gray was named by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the 2019 Best Hotels in Chicago. That’s why it comes as no surprise that its hard working staff was willing to go above and beyond to keep the lights on. Accordingly, this scrumptious Cocktail Series is a tribute to their dedication and efforts.
When honoring them, the cocktail designers didn’t spare any detail. The bottle cap design, label art, and even ingredients of the cocktails are tailored to the staff’s wishes. Interestingly, the cap of each cocktail bottle in the gift set features a key imprint on Gray wax. More than that, the featured staff members are highlighted on the designs of the bottle, including their vision and inspiration for the cocktails.
Breaking down mental health stigma with every sip
In addition to supporting hotel staff, a fraction of the proceeds will also be given to the charitable organization, Support Staff. This is a Chicago-based collective community of mostly hospitality advocates working in conjunction with community leaders, mental health practitioners, and other nonprofits to restructure the hospitality segment.
In this way, the nonprofit organization is on the much-needed mission to break down stigmas associated with mental health issues in the hospitality industry. To foster this mission, Support Staff runs a series of educational programs, podcasts, and relief funds throughout Chicagoland and beyond.
A swanky holiday gift that gives back
Each bottle of the exquisite Concierge Cocktails is available for pick-up at only $11, not to forget that they can be delivered right at your doorstep. Given the artsy bottle design and originality of the cocktails, they surely make for a meaningful present you can give your loved ones this holiday season.
You can kick back and relax while sipping a glass of one of these cocktails for your getaway/staycation at home. How about amping up your New Year’s celebration all while social distancing at home? Just order some yummy take-outs, and you’re set for a socially-isolated holiday fête in Chicago.
The best part is that you stand to win when you order the three Concierge Cocktails from Kimpton Gray Hotel. That’s correct; if you’re lucky enough to find the bottle with the key imprint on the bottle cap, you will be the winner of an all-paid complimentary at the hotel. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.
Festive cocktail themes on offer
The Concierge Cocktails come in two festive themes, namely “Fireside Chat” and “Lift Your Spirits”. If you have had the pleasure to check out Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Chicago Show, you’ll feel right at home with these cocktails.
The Fireside Chat cocktail was tailored to honor Joel Contor and Abbe Gould, a hardworking duo in Sales/Catering that saw to it that the hotel made it successfully through the pandemic. The cocktail itself pays homage to the classic hot toddy, with alcohol for a little buzz, soothing honey, and a good dose of vitamin C to toast for your health.
The name is a brainchild of Gould, all about a perfect cocktail to enjoy this holiday season by the fireside, as well as conversations she’d with coworkers and guests this pandemic-filled year.
The star ingredient is a Starward Two-Fold Australian Whiskey, a nod to Contor’s friends and family in Australia. It also incorporates soda, a touch of Vanilla chai, and orange, all contained with a navy bottle cap in reference to the hotel’s interior wall décor.
The second theme is so-named in line with the hotel’s Lift Your Spirits campaign meant to spread holiday cheer this season. More importantly, the cocktail honors the industrious team behind the hotel’s continued success, from the night shift, engineering, and housekeeping teams to operation leaders.
The cocktail is reminiscent of the Bee’s Knees, an iconic concoction of the prohibition era. It beautifully balances sour and sweet, with honey pairing well the gin’s herbal notes. The team picked out a green-colored bottle, so you can bring some holiday cheer to your home.
The Lift Your Spirits cocktail contains soda, ginger, honey, Grapefruit, and of course, Rabbit-Hole Aged Gin. Whether you’re pouring a glass for yourself or giving it as a holiday gift, it’s sure to please.
Order yours today to give the gift of the holiday cheer and honor service workers!