This venture, from Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group, is designed to offer a mecca for sports fans and foodies alike. The museum, at 8,000 sq. ft, lets visitors explore local sports legends, engage in high-tech challenges and simulations, and view memorabilia such as game-used treasures and other artifacts. These include a replica of William “Refrigerator” Perry’s 1986 Super Bowl ring. Jump and see how much air you get, compared with Michael Jordan (at 48 inches!) – or hit a virtual baseball and block a virtual puck.
In Measure Up, fans can compare their abilities with those of elite athletes; in Forensic Sports, “CSI”-like techniques are used to unravel sports mysteries and dispel myths; in Fan Zone, you’ll find a working replica of the Wrigley Field broadcast booth; in Curses and Superstitions, you can learn about “curses” and player rituals. The Hall of Legends highlights Chicago’s Hall of Fame athletes and their skills.
Next door, Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch offers Executive Chef Joe Rosetti’s spin on classic comfort food in an upscale space with a design inspired by surrounding architecture and the Water Tower. This place utilizes an urban industrial aesthetic with metal work detailing, Edison bulbs, steel piping (like its neighbor the John Hancock Building) and concrete. Giant picture windows make your dining experience that much nicer – and of course, you can still watch the game on big flat-screen TVs cleverly arranged to not block the view. There’s room for 250, with a 60-seat bar, and the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch. Naturally, memorabilia from Harry Caray’s private collection lines the walls.
The menu is filled with classic comfort food, including soups and salads, inventive burgers, oven-fired pizzas and hand-dipped shakes. Mac ‘n Cheese muffins, a short rib Italian beef sandwich, the Holy Cow! Burger, and a maple bacon-flavored milkshake are among the treats you’ll find here.
7th Inning Stretch is committed to offering locally-brewed craft beers, including Ale Syndicate’s American Blond – a beer brewed exclusively for Harry Caray’s. You’ll find at least 14 beers and ales on tap at any given time, and most will be local brews. Whiskeys, martinis, cocktails are available, as well as a curated list of Champagnes and sparkling wines, red wines, and white wines.
Last, but not least, there’s a retail store that sells autographed items, licensed gear and collectibles for all of Chicago’s big teams. The store sells unique products you won’t find elsewhere, as many of the active and retired athletes are partners of Harry Caray’s and provide exclusive, authenticated merchandise. Check out a 2013 Blackhawks jersey autographed by Patrick Kane, a Bobby Hull-autographed jersey, or footballs autographed by Richard Dent and Brandon Marshall.
The 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum will be among the city’s hottest gathering spots this summer, so don’t miss out! Museum admission costs $6 for adults and $3 for kids, and your admission earns you a discount at the 7th Inning Stretch restaurant next door. Restaurant guests are admitted to the museum free of charge. The Museum is free on Tuesdays. For additional information about both, you can visit www.harrycarays.com or www.chicagosportsmuseum.com, or call 312-202-0500. They’re located on the seventh floor of Water Tower Place, located at 835 N. Michigan Ave.