The Chicago Moms | May 10, 2017
We drive up I-294 north regularly. Whenever we pass the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and MB Financial Park at Rosemont, we say we should stop by sometime to see what is there. Recently The Chicago Moms was invited to visit Rosemont to discover what is going on — and let’s just say there is a lot worth visiting there.
We started our adventure at the Lowes Chicago O’Hare Hotel in their signature restaurant, The Ashburn. Chef Jose Garay treated our group to a multi-course tasting that showcased his focus on locally-sourced ingredients. Each plate was both visually-appealing and a taste bud treat. Chef Garay was a delightful host, patiently answering questions about his culinary inspirations and creations. As a former hotel marketing person, I recognize the uphill battle of bringing attention to a gem like The Ashburn when you have brand-name restaurants within walking distance. The delight of dining at The Ashburn is something that every foodie should experience. The menu is always changing with innovative ingredients and preparation. Every season is a new revelation.
Our group moved to the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. We took a tour filled with shopper-friendly features about the outlet mall. You can text the concierge desk to ask questions before deciding to visit or check your coat for a more comfortable shopping experience. If you find yourself in Chicago during a travel layover, the Fashion Outlets of Chicago will store luggage and print boarding passes. When we stopped at the concierge station, I immediately noticed the airline flight monitor letting guests know if their flights were on time. One of my favorite features was that all the children’s stores were located in the same wing. You could park near that entrance door, shop all the children’s stores and get back to your car very conveniently without ever having to brave the weather.
When we went across the street to MB Financial Park, I was surprised at how much it felt like a town square. The buildings surround a large, grassy area where free community events include everything from group exercise classes (yoga, Zumba, The Barre Code) to Cornhole Monday Nights to Rockin’ In The Park concerts. You could spend nearly every evening there doing something fun and free by yourself or with a group.
If you wanted to eat, you could choose from nine restaurants surrounding the town square. We had brunch at Sugar Factory, a fun space with a crystal chandelier, red leather booths and ice cream parlor tables. The full menu has everything from salad to crepes to sandwiches to dinner entrees. As you walk through the restaurant, you see the signature smoking candy goblets at many tables. It’s a favorite part of a Sugar Factory visit. Your server mixes the goblet at your table. When the ingredients are put together, the smoke starts rising and the gasps begin. The servers know that everyone wants a photo with the smoking drink. Sugar Factory is a social media savvy restaurant. As you wait for your food, there are wall-sized screen showing different celebrities visiting Sugar Factory locations across the country. Every celebrity is posing for a selfie or photographer. It is a constant reminder to take your own selfie and post it. The teenagers in our group couldn’t wait to take a photo with their goblet and post it.
Kings Bowling was our final stop. It was, by far, the nicest bowling alley we had ever experienced. In addition to all the fun you’d expect in a bowling alley, there were wall-sized screens showing the Kentucky derby pre-race events on one screen, college lacrosse on another screen and a Major League baseball game on another screen. Everywhere you looked there was another sport on another big screen. There were bowling lanes in private rooms for special events and a large area with pool tables. Another area housed a full-serve restaurant. The 27,000 square foot entertainment venue was filled with families.
Mother’s Day is only a few days away. If you are still trying to figure out what to do, Rosemont has something for every Mom. You can dine at The Ashburn and spend time at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. You can head to MB Financial Park for a meal and entertainment ranging from a movie to bowling to live comedy. Rosemont’s tag line is “It’s All Here” and it is true.