The Gwen Hotel Partners with Carrie and Michael Nahabedian on Chicago Restaurant
The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, has partnered with beloved James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian and cousin Michael Nahabedian for a new restaurant scheduled to open late summer in the Michigan Avenue hotel. The restaurant will combine the Nahabedians many years in the hospitality industry — including at restaurants NAHA and Brindille as well as The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons hotels — with the world-renowned hotel located in the landmarked McGraw-Hill building on the Magnificent Mile. The restaurant will be located at the former location of Circa, which will soon begin renovation.
With the recent completion of The Gwen’s renovation of its guestrooms, suites and public spaces in 2017, it’s the perfect time to blend this chef-driven destination restaurant with the hotel, says Michael Ditterline, general manager of The Gwen. The Gwen was recently named 2018 Marriott Hotel of The Year for Distinct Luxury - Americas and has been consistently ranked Top 10 in TripAdvisor for the Chicago market for the past two years. DiamondRock Hospitality Company is the ownership group for the new restaurant and The Gwen.
“We have been able to relaunch who The Gwen is and are so excited to be able to join forces with someone who has a great level of experience and following in Chicago. Carrie aligns with our commitment to excellent service — she sat in our lobby for days to truly understand who our guests are,” says Ditterline.
Carrie will manage the menu creation and cuisine direction for the restaurant, while Michael will manage the beverage program.
Regarding hotel dining, Carrie says, "When working in hotels, it's up to us to understand the guests, grab their attention and bring them in. I want to dispel the myth that hotel dining isn’t interesting — this restaurant will focus on true hospitality and the guest experience, giving people a reason to spend money here and making it feel like its an independent space.”
The new restaurant is a family affair for Carrie and Michael, who will also be joined by Michael’s brother Tom Nahabedian on the design of the project. Tom is a principal at Bureau|AD and is responsible for the design of Naha and Brindille, the latter of which won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2016.