Located in the heart of Millennium Park, one of the top tourist destinations in the Midwest, sits Park Grill Chicago, an award-winning destination restaurant. The eatery is no stranger to serving large crowds during busy times, and the weekend of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is no exception.
“Typically, businesses look at holiday weekends as some of the busiest times of their year. For us, the Marathon is right up there with every other major celebration,” said Jim Horan, owner of Park Grill. “From providing entertainment to participants Friday evening, to hosting the annual pasta dinner Saturday evening and serving concession in Grant Park post-race, we feel like we’re the home for the Marathon efforts throughout the weekend.”
Staying open for race weekend
A partner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon since 2003, Park Grill has seen firsthand the significant impact the race can have on local businesses. Park Grill sees a 37 percent bump in business race weekend, during what’s already a busy time of year. In fact, according to Horan, they keep the Plaza at the Park Grill open for an extra few weeks just for race weekend.
Three businesses, one partnership
In addition to Park Grill, Horan also owns Blue Plate Catering and tesori trattoria & bar, both of which are impacted by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as well. Blue Plate’s relationship goes back to the early 1990s.
“With each of our businesses located right along Michigan Ave, it’s a big weekend for all of our businesses,” said Horan. “Obviously, being a part of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is good for business, but it is just great to be a part of one of the top sporting events of the year, bringing people together from all walks of life to cheer on the participants. It’s really a perfect event for us – not only do we love this event, but it means a lot to this city as well.”
Horan believes the partnership his companies have with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will only continue to get better and better. Following the race each year, Horan, Chicago Event Management (CEM), the production company behind the Marathon, and Bank of America work together on how to continue to improve this world-class event for runners, business and charity partners and spectators. According to Horan, “Our relationship with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a true, true partnership. There are only good things to come.”