Dear John: Chicago's Best Bathroom

Drake Hotel is Number Five in 'number two' contest

By Matt Bartosik
|  Saturday, Aug 22, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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Dear John: Chicago's Best Bathroom

The Drake Hotel's restroom comes close to being a royal flush.

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Many folks may call their toilet their 'throne,' but not all thrones are created equal. Some are more majestic than others. And Chicago's Drake Hotel certainly comes close to having a royal flush.

With murals, private suites, in-stall makeup tables, and an assortment of elegant chandeliers, the 1920s-era restrooms at the Drake Hotel (140 W Walton St) came in as the nation's fifth-best potty in a nationwide contest.

Cintas Corp., a bathroom supply company, sponsored the eighth annual "America's Best Restroom" contest, in which thousands of people voted online from a selection of ten entries.

So what's the number-one place to go "number two"?

Top honors went to the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri, which features "marble fireplaces, [a] hand-carved mahogany pool table, antiques, lion's head sinks, leather chairs, stained glass, and chandeliers," according to the news release.

The Tremont Plaza Hotel (Baltimore, Maryland), Radio City Music Hall (New York City), and Zeffirino Ristorante at Venetian Resort, Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada) completed the top four.

Of course, in Chicago, we don't need fancy lighting and beautiful murals to keep us feeling lucky about our loo. In fact, we'd be grateful to find any functioning clean bathroom, especially given the poor state of some powder rooms.

I can't remember the last time I used a park district public washroom. Or rather, I can remember, and that's why I never went back again.

Paty Higueros of Chicago agrees: "[The] worst [bathrooms] would be [at] gas stations or park districts, sorry. I'd rather hold it than go there!"

From a guy's point of view, I would say the same goes for any establishment (like Ginger's Ale House in Lakeview or Wrigley Field) that has a trough installed in the washroom. Peeing should not be a social experience! I go to the bathroom to tinkle, not to mingle.

What bathrooms in Chicago have you visited that would make your best or worst lists? Leave your comments below.

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, always puts the seat down.

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