Grand opening of Harry Caray's Tavern, Navy Pier

March 1, 2010 5:50:37 AM PST
Join us Monday, March 1, 2010 at 7:20pm your time, anywhere in the world for the 12th Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray, celebrating the life and legacy of the late Hall of Fame baseball announcer on what would have been his 96th birthday. This year's toast will also mark the grand opening of the newest namesake restaurant, Harry Caray's Tavern, Navy Pier.


At 7:20pm, legions of fans around the world, including many celebrities, will raise a Budweiser or other beverage to the beloved broadcaster, who was also known as the ?Cub Fan, Bud Man.? Dutchie Caray will lead the toast live from Harry Caray's Tavern, Navy Pier, followed by a round of Take Me Out to the Ballgame-the song Harry was famous for singing between the top and bottom of the 7th inning of each game. Dutchie will be joined on stage by Ernie Banks, Bobby Hull, Ron Kittle, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielson and Tom Petersson, Bill Kurtis, Richard Dent, Otis Wilson, Richard Roeper, Len Kasper and other famed Chicagoans.

Immediately following the Toast, one of the Pier's favorite summertime traditions will make a special wintertime appearance when guests are treated to a spectacular fireworks display over the lake sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink.

From 4pm-9pm WGN AM Radio 720 will broadcast live from Harry's starting with Steve Cochran and followed by Dave Kaplan. Prizes will be awarded to fans throughout the broadcast including Cubs batting practice prior to a home game and a chance to rebound for the Bulls players during pre-game warm ups.


Harry Caray's Tavern Navy Pier has a full day of activities planned, beginning at 5:00am when its doors open to the public for the first time, unveiling the Pier's most anticipated new restaurant. The following events will take place at Harry's between 5am and 9am:

Spring Training Rally-Celebrities and Cubs fans will take part in an early morning Spring Training Rally in anticipation of the Cubs' Cactus League opener on March 4. The Rally will be led by Ernie Banks, Dutchie Caray, Grant DePorter, Ron Kittle, Bill Kurtis and other celebrities. Fans will win prizes all morning long including opening day Cubs tickets, autographed baseballs and more.

Mascot Toast-A collection of mascots will toast Harry, including Harry's Holy Cow!, Navy Pier's Patch and Pickle, the Blackhawk's Tommy Hawk and the Ice Girls, the Fire's Sparky, the Wolves' Skates, Adrenalin Rush Dance Team, Pepsi's Fizzie and Crushie, Ronnie Woo Woo, Harry Caray sound- and look-a-likes and others. A Chicago Shakespeare Theater actor will give the first ?Toast to Harry? of the day-in true Shakespearean style.

Chicago Sports Museum Unveiling-Dutchie Caray will unveil the centerpiece of the restaurant, Harry's Museum, with two octagonal rooms featuring beautifully crafted display cabinets with a rotating collection of the most notable and unique items of Chicago sports history. Highlights include Harry Caray's signature eyeglasses, the remains of the Infamous Cubs Foul Ball, Geovany Soto's full catcher's gear worn during his Rookie of the Year season, Ryne Sandberg's 1989 playoffs homerun bat, Randy Wells' first win glove, Gordon Beckham's Rookie of the Year glove, Harry Caray's fishnet, Paul Konerko's grand slam ball from the 2005 World Series, Marv Levy's Super Bowl XXV jacket, autographed baseballs, bats, hockey sticks and jerseys and more.

Holy Green Cows! Unveiling-Just outside Harry's doors in the Family Pavilion, legendary newsman Bill Kurtis will lead the unveiling of a topiary herd of ?Holy Green Cows? grazing in Tallgrass pastures. The holy cows, professionally designed and created for the Chicago Flower & Garden Show (running March 6-March 14), will be covered in green moss and outfitted with Harry's signature eyeglasses. The Tallgrass pastures are a tribute to Kurtis' Tallgrass Beef Company-a leader in the grass-fed beef revolution.

The excitement of the Toast and Harry's grand opening will spill out across Navy Pier throughout the day. Guests will be treated to a bevy of special deals and activities in honor of Harry throughout the Pier on March 1st including:

-96-cent Ferris Wheel rides in honor of Harry Caray's 96th birthday (regularly $6);

-Spring Training fun at the Chicago Children's Museum from 1:00p-3:00p, including base running, pitching, batting and pennant making;

-$99 per night rooms at the Affinia Hotel Chicago;

-$10 black and white caricatures at Faces in Focus for guests wearing replica Harry Caray glasses (regularly $18);

-Harry Caray singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame on the IMAX theatre prior to every movie;

-96-cent Shamrock Beads at Irish Imports;

-96-cent baseball key chains at Life in the Windy City, Varsity Stop Outfitters & Making History Chicago;

-$1.96 off a Red or Blue Navy Pier pint glass at Navy Pier Signature Store;

-96-cent sodas at Capi's Italian Kitchen;

-96-cent Mama Gump Chocolate Bars at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.;

-96-cent 2nd rides on the Kiddie Train Express;

-20% off baseball themed neckties and 10% off novelty gifts at Y-Knot;

-Free 3 oz. snack pack of nuts with purchase of a one pound bag at Completely Nuts Inc.


As always, celebrities around the world will hoist a glass to Harry on this special day. Past celebrities include Will Ferrell, Jim Belushi, Joe Mantegna, Timothy Hutton, Randy Jackson, Bob Costas, Robert Conrad, Pablo Francisco, Jeremy Piven, Max Weinberg, Ron Harper, Stephen Baldwin, Hal Sparks, Frank Vincent, David Brenner, Ben Vereen, Steve Soderberg, James Denton, Frank Caliendo, Jerry Azumah, Crane Kenney, Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella, Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, Steve Stone, Bob Brenly, Len Kasper, Pat Hughes, Ron Kittle, Jim Thome, Marv Levy, Brian Urlacher, Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Bill Kurtis, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, The Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, Fall Out Boy and others.

For more information about the toast, visit


Located near the main entrance to Navy Pier, Harry Caray's Tavern's waterfront location, family friendly menu and Chicago's premier sports museum combine to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience for guests of all ages. The extensive menu includes flavorful sandwiches and wraps, pastas, fresh salads and homemade pizzas. Guests can also enjoy several favorites from the legendary Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, as well as Harry's signature Holy Cow!® Burger Bar. The mahogany paneled walls and beautifully crafted display cabinets feature a rotating collection of museum-quality sports memorabilia, including an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs and vintage newspapers celebrating Chicago sports legends, past and present. The restaurant also boasts a slew of celebrity investors, including stars of Hollywood, Jeremy Piven, Harold Ramis and James Denton alongside sports greats Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Geovany Soto, Aramis Ramirez, Patrick Kane, Bobby Hull, Marv Levy and Richard Dent and Harry's wife Dutchie Caray.