Harry Caray’s Tavern and Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch each boast an impressive roster of celebrity investors. They include 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. Chicago radio stars Roe Conn and Eric Ferguson round out the list along with Harry’s wife, Dutchie Caray.
Grant DePorter, CEO
Grant has over 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry and 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.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse opened in 1987 and, under Grant’s leadership, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group (HCRG) has steadily grown from one restaurant to seven restaurants and an off-premise catering company. HCRG opened Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in Rosemont in 1999, Harry Caray’s Seventh Inning Stretch at Midway Airport in 2001, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse and Holy Mackerel! (HCRG’s fresh seafood concept) in Lombard in 2007, Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier in 2010 and the 23,000 square foot Harry Caray’s Seventh Inning Stretch and Chicago Sports Museum at Water Tower Place in 2014.
HCRG consistently ranks as one of the Top 75 Multiconcept Operators in the Country. HCRG’s flagship, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, 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.
Through Grant’s efforts over the years, Harry Caray’s has become one of the most nationally known Chicago restaurants. With events like the destruction of the infamous Cubs Foul Ball to the Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry which involves thousands of people in over 120 countries, Grant and the restaurant have been seen on TV shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, ESPN, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, Fox News, E!, BBC, CNBC’s Power Lunch, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Larry King Live, 20/20, Nightline, The Travel Channel, CNN and The Food Network. Harry’s has been written about in national magazines such as Time and People, as well as every major newspaper in the country. Grant has since become recognized as one of Chicago’s top collectors of sports memorabilia—his acquisitions have now found a permanent home in the Chicago Sports Museum.
Grant also works tirelessly on behalf of many civic and charitable organizations at the local and state level. He has served as Chairman of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the Illinois Restaurant Association, Visit Illinois, Chicago’s Gateway Green and the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. He also has served on the boards of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the River North Business Association and The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.
Grant has been a dedicated supporter of Chicago Gateway Green, a charity that his late father Don DePorter stared in 1986 which is dedicated to the greening and beautification of Chicago. No restaurateur in Chicago has done more to green Chicago.
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
Midwest Regional Emmy Award for role in pilot of Piece of the Game (2013)
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)