Michael Jordan at Michael Jordan Steakhouse grand opening | Photos + party report
Getting into the opening party for Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse last night was a true feat—and I’m not just talking about scoring a spot on the guest list. By 6pm, the human barricade of His Airness worshippers outside the Hotel InterContinental made it physically challenging to even reach the front door. (More creative stalkers lined up on the Michigan Avenue median, dangerously close to the traffic whizzing by.) Inside wasn’t much better, with guests staking out vantage points around the lobby and on both sets of stairs. Tall pours of Champagne (not just sparkling wine, but “Champagne. From France,” we were assured) fueled a palpable buzz in the room—Where’s Michael? Is he really coming? What time is he supposed to get here? And then whoosh, there he was, donning a checked brown blazer and looming over his entourage as they ushered him up the south staircase. Scottie Pippen followed not long after.
The restaurant actually served its first 23-ounce prime rib eye on August 23, but the party offered a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Jordan, who gave a pleasant if unmemorable speech on the shiny new catwalk separating the two dining rooms. Before and after, he held court near a corner booth, blocked off by a posse of pals.
The food was an afterthought to playing amateur paparazzi, but there were plenty of lamb chops, steak slices and garlic bread with Wisconsin blue cheese fondue to go around, accompanied by trays of wine and bubbly and a full bar downstairs. I eventually lost track of Jordan, who I think was taken past a red velvet curtain and into a secret after-party that only the few guests with red wristbands could attend. I left sans autograph, but up one set of steak knives in the goody bag.
Highlight: Getting in a handshake with Jordan before his bouncer started ushering people away.
Lowlight: Not spotting a single “Be Like Mike” shirt amid the sea of suits and black cocktail dresses.