Chicago Sun-Times: Transforming Hyatt McCormick

Doug Roth, whose family ran the legendary Blackhawk Restaurant, has formed a hospitality company that’s transforming Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Playground Hospitality, which Roth founded, is developing three restaurants at the hotel. It’s a counter-punch to the newly built JW Marriott hotel nearby.

Roth, the company’s president, is collaborating with chefs Gale Gand and Dan Smith. Also advising is Richard Kincaid, former CEO of billionaire Sam Zell‘s Equity Office Properties Trust.

Roth grew up with the Blackhawk, went on to found Bistro 110 with Larry and Mark Levy of Levy Restaurants and has worked in sports marketing and on real-estate ventures.

Playground Hospitality brings all those experiences and expertise together, he says.

“Our hope is that we’re developing a restaurant that’s great for people visiting Chicago for the first time,” he says. “It’s for people from Paris, Texas, to Paris, France.”

The three restaurants pay homage to the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair and foods introduced to Americans during the event.

Third Star will feature an international menu. Sixes and Eights refers to the lucky numbers of Japanese and Chinese culture, respectively, and will offer an Asian fast-casual menu. And ARC Bar’s name is a takeoff of the arc of electricity (also introduced at the fair). On the menu: shareable plates and “worldly” drinks.

Bringing together good food, atmosphere and service “is like a theatrical show,” Roth says. “Our job is to make sure all those elements are in sync.”