During the first week in January, a group of us spent a frigid Saturday afternoon in Chicago. Since then, it’s been raining and above freezing for the majority of January so that day with single digit temps sans wind-chill may have been the coldest day in January ’17 in Chicago.
Walking around the River North area, we walked by Trump Tower and decided to pay it a visit. We noticed a public restaurant on the 16th floor so we decided to check out the restaurant and view. What did we have to lose?
I don’t know if it was the view or a few empty tables that invited us for a break from the cold weather and order a few drinks at the Trump International Hotel and Tower so we obliged. Three of us in the group ordered drinks, a Cocktail Incognito ($16) and a Lagunitas and Stiegl (both $9). After the visit, I saw the alcohol tax of $3.91 and having not seen in probably in many a year, my curiosity had me do a little math. When I divided the alcohol tax of $3.91 by the cocktail amount, I get an obscure number so on to a little more math. The tax can’t just apply to the beer so I divide the alcohol tax of $3.91 by the total of $34.00 and get 11.25% alcohol tax.
A few things (that occur not just at TT but elsewhere in the city), why not include the percentage of alcohol tax one is being charged? Don’t know if that would make a difference, however, at the time, I wondered what the tax was at this point during the first week of the new year. Second thought, when the restaurant purchases spirits, wine or beer, isn’t there an alcohol tax within that initial purchase? If so, why is there an alcohol tax on top of an alcohol tax? It appears Trump has so many things to fix, I’m hopeful he can figure out the ridiculous amount of taxes visitors will pay in Chicago.
The amount came to $37.91, and with a tip around 17%, the total fee would be $45.00. Not wanting to part with most of my wallet’s cash, I paid with a credit card. Unfortunately, the server took the card away from our table and back somewhere to execute the transaction. With credit card fraud being quite common today, why is it necessary for so many restaurants in the States to take the card away from you to process the transaction? A few years ago, I spent a week in Montreal (delightful city BTW) and every bar and restaurant came to you to execute the transaction. Not one took your credit card away so as to ensure no credit card would be executed. If it’s good enough for Montreal, why not at Trump Tower? And for that matter, most other restaurants and drinking establishments, especially in the Midwest.
Because Donald Trump talks about how great he can make America, I figured that idea would resonate at Trump Tower. For example, not draft beer here? I cynically thought the fact we’re a few hundred feet above the Chicago River would deplete some of the taste. I posited, do they not serve draft beer due to a demographic decision or perhaps their brand was above serving any type of draft beer?
A beautiful view from the 16th floor. The staff was agreeable to allow us to walk around and enjoy the view before we decided on cocktails. In fact, the entire group of 5 were surprised how easy it was to walk around the lobby before visiting the 16th. In fact, during the ’15 Chicago Marathon, I visited the 16th floor sans restaurant at the time and had the entire floor to myself on a late Sunday morning. I will add one more thing, if we ever again, we’ll do it in warmer weather so we can sit on the terrace and enjoy the spectacular views of the city’s skyline.
Now that Donald has become our 45th president, how will this impact visits and business at the Trump Tower in Chicago, New York and elsewhere? Will it be a boon for his restaurant and hotel business as visitors will feel special visiting a hotel or restaurant with Trump’s name on it? Or will there be many more diehard among the electorate who did not and will not back Trump under any circumstances? I guess time will tell.