Travelle at The Langham, Chicago brings an innovative twist to cocktail service at events. In honor of the popularity of Mad Men, the restaurant created four custom-made cocktail carts used by professional mixologists to prepare cocktails tableside—the same way they were prepared at luxury restaurants throughout the 1960s. For meeting planners, this adds a built-in theme or simply an added touch of traditional class to events at the restaurant.
“The late 1960s was the ‘Golden Age’ of cocktails and martini lunches and was the era when tableside service began,” says the restaurant’s Beverage Manager Erik Boyd. “Hotels and bars played a prominent role in these lunches and meetings.”
The cocktail carts, which debuted in the greenroom of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, are displayed throughout Travelle’s bar and lounge space. The carts are designed with brass framing, mirrored glass undersides and high-gloss Macassar ebony shelving and display spirits bottles and glassware.
“The Travelle Lounge Bar Cart is an exceptional showpiece that will feature carefully selected cocktails to be prepared tableside in the lounge for any event or gathering,” says the restaurant’s Beverage Manager Erik Boyd.
Guests can order the restaurant’s signature drink, the Madhattan, and the mixologist will come to the table to mix it up. The drink is a new take on the classic cocktail, made with one of five choice whiskeys, sweet vermouth, a dash of Benedictine and house-made smoked simple syrup, and served over ice.
“Having your drink made tableside rather than having it delivered brings a level of personalization to the entire experience,” says Boyd. “It creates a sense of ownership for the guest in that they are involved in creating their own cocktail. Tableside bar cart service brings that experience of Midwest hospitality to the guest in a very unique way by bringing the bar to you and making sure you get exactly what you order.”
Travelle has long been known for its beverage program. In addition to the cart’s spirits selection, Travelle’s lounge offers an extensive whiskey collection imported from international locations, such as Scotland, Ireland and Japan, as well as its 1,600-bottle wine list. The 124-seat restaurant and 81-seat bar overlook the Chicago skyline and river from their second-floor location at the hotel. The restaurant’s food is equally noteworthy, with a menu of Mediterranean fare that ranges from Kalamata-poached monkfish to goat prepared three ways.