The Walnut Room, the restaurant inside Macy’s on State Street, is making pandemic changes. The historic restaurant, famed for its enormous Christmas tree and chicken pot pie, will mark the return of Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride celebrations in June by hosting the first drag brunch in its 114-year history.
It’s another sign of change as restaurants emerge from the pandemic, with elected officials lifting capacity restrictions. Award-winning local queen Lucy Stoole will host the brunch, slated for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. She’ll feature performances from Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestant Kylie Sonique Love, lauded drag king Tenderoni, and Minneapolis-based chef and queen Sasha Cassadine.
Chicago has a proud history of drag restaurants, including the 52-year-old Baton Show Lounge and the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club in Boystown. Drag restaurant chain Lips made its debut two years ago in South Loop, and Andersonville’s Hamburger Mary’s closed last November after nearly 15 years as a neighborhood pillar. Downtown Chicago has been lacking in the drag department, but perhaps the Walnut Room will help spark more performances in the district.