“My father designed and built restaurants for a living. I was sweeping floors and have been running restaurants for many years; I’ve always been in this business.” explains Matt McCahill, Director of Food, Beverage and Nightlife for the Godfrey Hotel. “I’m 43 years old now and I’m still partying. Times have changed though in Chicago, the restaurant people are no longer getting the value that we deserve. It’s become a ‘money over popularity’ business and you can really see that in our bottle service industry; it’s suffering because of it. In the social scene aspect, it use to be different. Guys with a bunch of money don’t understand the scene like our cultured veterans do. It’s just not fun anymore when someone can decide who does and doesn’t sit at your table because of their financial status.”

For once, someone is thinking about the people running the scene. Us little people that make the food you’re bitching about and clean the floors you’re spilling vodka on, or the doorman that never asks to see your ID because you’re cool like that. What’s in it for us, I would like to know? “Aside from getting a bad rep for all sleeping together? Because let’s be honest!” laughs Matt. But seriously though, it use to be that if you were ‘industry’ you had the hookup. Now, you just have to have money or status? Where’s the loyalty…. and the love?

Blood, sweat and tears are what develop an appreciation for the scene. Take bottle service for instance. Just because you can afford to buy a table doesn’t mean you actually appreciate it. Ten years ago you had to be the cool kid to get a table, and even then you paid for it. You worked really hard to gain that status and once you owned it, it was yours to keep. Now, all you need is a black card and you’re in. Where’s the fun in that? What are you actually in it for? None of us think you’re cool with your black card, trust me. I”m not saying the clubs don’t appreciate your money. I’m saying, don’t think you’re special because you bought a bottle. That’s just not the stigma anymore. If you’re just going to sit there, in a bumping nightclub, with a stink face, you’re not having fun. Give up your table to someone who will really appreciate it please. And to the club owners, turning away seasoned industry folk is hypocritical. You expect us to promote for you, and still beg for a table; that’s messed up.

How are you trying to ‘pay it forward’ for our industry peeps?

“It’s about taking people out of their normal element and giving them and only them something they don’t normally encounter. Keeping this in mind, is how I created the Industry Sleepover event. We all have A.D.D. and need constant attention. We’ve enjoyed the boringness of the nightlife in Chicago. We needed something that excited us for a change; something new and only for us! And that’s exactly what we got, along with a “Best One Off Event” award at the Chicago Nightlife Awards in 2015, to go with it. This event is for all of us and no one gets left behind.” tells Matt.

For anyone that’s ever been to the Industry Sleepover, you can attest to it’s madness. We’re talking an entire floor of different themed rooms and chaos; the perfect combo for all us degenerates. Matt spearheaded this event with one thing in mind – create an overwhelmingly fun environment that encompasses everything the industry drivers need to feel fulfilled. Accomplished … well done. Who better to throw a sick party than those that do it for a living every night of our lives? No one.

“Working with Oxford Hotel Group has been such a refreshing business operation. They bring in function before the design. This is what allows us to pull off these types of events. These events speak to us, allowing us to let loose and be ourselves in our own little comfort zone. When I have a vision, this group can actually make it happen.” says Matt. “Speaking of vision, I’m thinking a Pool Bar in Chicago is next. Who agrees?” Um, me!

I for one, have never once had an issue getting into the Godfrey Hotel, and not because I’m a girl or I had a black card. There was only one reason; I am industry and they respect that. I can’t say the same for our other Chicago venues like Underground or Paris, but hey, money talks I guess. Other industry minded venues include El Hefe, Moe’s Cantina, the Basement and Social 25. I always remember who treats me with respect and dignity and for that I will continue bringing business. It means a lot to us as we work so hard to obtain it. We’re stronger together. And much more fun. Just sayin.

Industry Insider Tips:

Tip #1: LondonHouse, which is associated with the Godfrey Hotel, has a secret pass called the Dom Perignon Pass – Go to the first penthouse floor (21), order a glass of Dom and they will give you a Cupola Pass. That’s a place where no one gets to go! Even when I was there doing interviews they wouldn’t let me see it. I have since then figured out how to get a peak, and I highly recommend you do the same.

Tip #2: They have a date picked out for the Industry Sleepover in 2017, but they’re not telling anyone just yet. Just know that it’s about to go down!