The Duck Inn • Our Team

The Duck Inn
2701 S Eleanor, Chicago | (312) 724-8811

Our team

Here at the Duck Inn, we employ only the most talented, fun, creative, driven young professionals in the business. We're a family. And that's why when you dine at The Duck Inn, we treat you like family.

Kevin Hickey | Chef-Patron

Kevin Hickey
Kevin Hickey was born and raised in Chicago’s iconic south side neighborhood, Bridgeport; home to the best meat-packers and butchers in the world. His family has been a part of the Bridgeport business, political and social community for over five generations. He began his professional career in the restaurant business at his uncle’s restaurant in the Gold Coast while a high school student at De La Salle Institute in Bronzeville. This led to a 35-year career that began to take shape when he attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout and later when he began working for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Beverly Hills. Eventually his career with Four Seasons took him to Dublin, London and Atlanta before coming back to his native Chicago in 2004 — first at The Ritz Carlton Hotel as Executive Chef and eventually the Four Seasons Chicago as Executive Chef & Restaurant Director where he led his team to two consecutive Michelin Stars, the only Four Seasons Chef to receive Michelin Stars in North America and AAA Five Diamond status with the restaurant Seasons. He eventually opened the acclaimed restaurant, Allium.

Chef Hickey’s highly-anticipated Bridgeport venture, The Duck Inn opened in 2014. The Duck Inn is a neighborhood tavern and dining room that is housed in a pre-prohibition era tavern that has continuously operated for almost a century. It showcases Chef Hickey’s seasonally driven, modern American cuisine as well as an extensive beverage program filled with craft beers, contemporary cocktails and a creative wine service.
 
Kevin and The Duck Inn launched new projects, Duck Inn Dogs & Decent Beef; craft, fast-food concepts featuring the Duck Fat Hot Dog made famous at The Duck Inn and Prime Rib Italian Beef Sandwiches. The first of many opened at TimeOut Market in the West Loop in 2019. Kevin’s company, The Chicago Butcher, is a wholesale and retail food company focused on craft hot dogs, sausages and condiments.

In November 2015, The Duck Inn was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine, named as one of the Top 10 restaurants in America by USA Today and chosen as Restaurant of the Year by Eater Chicago. The Chicago Tribune named Kevin Hickey, Chef of The Year for 2015. To date, The Duck Inn has been awarded the coveted Bib Gourmand by Michelin for six consecutive years.


Kevin and The Duck Inn launched new projects, Duck Inn Dogs & Decent Beef; craft, fast-food concepts featuring the Duck Fat Hot Dog made famous at The Duck Inn and Prime Rib Italian Beef Sandwiches. The first of many opened at TimeOut Market in the West Loop in 2019. Kevin’s company, The Chicago Butcher, is a wholesale and retail food company focused on craft hot dogs, sausages and condiments.

Chef Hickey is also actively involved in several philanthropic organizations including the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Kitchen Possible and The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago and was an instrumental member of the Illinois CMAP Committee on the Bridgeport & Canaryville Development Plan.

Brandon Phillips | Beverage Director

Brandon Phillips
Brandon Phillips has spent the last half-decade perfecting his craft behind the bar.

Upon completing a rigorous apprenticeship at one of Chicago’s most renowned cocktail bars, The Drawing Room, in 2014, Phillips earned the title of Master Bartender catching the eye of industry professionals all over the country, including Chef Kevin Hickey. Serving as Head Barkeep, Phillips would, one year later, open Bottlefork with Hickey, a stylish New American concept in Chicago that was almost immediately heralded by Wine Spectator & GQ Magazine as having some of the most innovative cocktails in the city.

Inspired by the success of their first partnership, Phillips & Hickey opened The Duck Inn in 2014, which would later be named one of the “10 hottest Bars in Chicago”, as well as given numerous “Best Restaurant” accolades from publications such as Eater Chicago, Esquire Magazine and USA Today.

Phillips went on to represent the United States in the 2015 Global Beefeater MIXLDN Competition where he triumphed against 30 finalists from around the world with his “Hackney Handshake” cocktail. Included in Zagat’s prestigious annual 30 Under 30 roundup, Phillips was also honored by The Chicago Tribune which named him “Bartender of the Year” in 2016.


Most recently, as Principal Bartender, Phillips has assisted Rich Melman, and Lettuce Entertain You, in the opening of Booth One, a posh vintage restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel, which formerly housed the famed Pump Room.