Grant has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry. He literally grew up in the hospitality industry. His late father, Don, was a Hyatt regional vice-president based out of Chicago’s largest hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Grant lived and worked in that hotel for much of his early life. He received a BS degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and an MBA from Duke University.
Under Grant’s leadership, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group (HCRG) has grown from one restaurant to six restaurants and an off-premise catering company. HCRG opened its first restaurant, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in 1987. The restaurant has since become a Chicago legend, and now offers additional locations in Rosemont and Lombard. Also located in Lombard, adjacent to Harry Caray’s, is Holy Mackerel!, HCRG’s fresh seafood concept. HCRG opened Harry Caray’s Tavern, a more casual version of the original Harry Caray’s, at Navy Pier in March 2010.
HCRG consistently ranks as one of the Top 75 Multiconcept Operators in the Country. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, HCRG’s flagship, has been voted "Best Steakhouse in Chicago" by the Chicago Tribune, Citysearch and Metromix on CLTV, designated "an eternal hotspot" by Chicago Magazine, and ranked by Restaurants and Institutions Magazine among the top 100 independent restaurants in the country year after year.
Grant is known around the world for paying $113,824.16 for the Bartman Ball in 2003 and then blowing it up on live on national television. He has acquired many other unique items of Chicago sports memorabilia, including Sammy Sosa’s corked bat, Kerry Wood’s record-tying 20 strikeout ball and the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship "last out" bat. All of these items and many more are currently on display in the Chicago Sports Museum inside Harry Caray’s Tavern Navy Pier. An avid Cub fan and historian, Grant revived the original Cubs fan club, the West Side Rooters Social Club in 2008—100 years after its original founding.
Grant works tirelessly on behalf of many civic and charitable organizations at the local and state level. He currently serves as Chairman of The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. He has served as Chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association, Illinois Tourism Alliance, Chicago’s Gateway Green Committee. He continues to serve on these boards along with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Quantum Learning and is active in the River North Association. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Grant is the author of Hoodoo: Unraveling the 100 Year Mystery of the Chicago Cubs, an entertaining account of the events contributing to Cubs unprecedented World Series drought.
AWARDS and HONORS
Named One of the 100 Most Influential People in Chicago by Michigan Avenue Magazine (2011)
The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association Individual Member of the Year Award (2010)
Harold Washington College Gerald J. Roper Business Professional of the Year Award (2010)
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Open Hands Award (2009)
Illinois Bureau of Tourism Illinois Tourism Award (2007)
Honored at Chicago’s City Council for leadership on greening Chicago (2006)
National Restaurant Association Dedicated Service Award (2005)
Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Ambassador of Hospitality Award (2005)
Illinois Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year Award (2004)
The John Merlo Business Leader of the Year Award (2003)
A. Finkl & Sons Greening Award (2001)
Chicago Gateway Green’s Green Tie Ball Award for Leadership (1999)
5 Questions with Grant DePorter
Who does Harry Caray's C.E.O. Grant DePorter admire in the business world? Did he ever anticipate the amount of publicity from the Foul Ball Toast? If he could cast anyone to play bartender Frankie O in a movie, who would it be? See all these answers or more in Comcast's "5 Questions wiht Grant DePorter" at Comcast SportsNet.