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. His family has been a part of the Bridgeport business and social community for over five generations. He began his professional career in the restaurant business while a high school student at De La Salle. This led to an over 30 year career that truly began to take shape when he began working for Four Seasons hotels and resorts in Beverly Hills and eventually 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 where he led his team to two consecutive Michelin Stars and AAA Five Diamond status with Seasons, and eventually opening the much lauded Allium.

In 2014, Chef Hickey, partnered with Rockit Ranch Productions and opened Bottlefork; a concept that offers locally sourced and globally inspired cuisine & cocktails and displays Chef Hickey’s penchant for big, bold flavors showcased in modern interpretations of both familiar and new American dishes. Continuing Chef Hickey’s farm-to-table philosophy, Bottlefork features key collaborations with local Midwestern brewers & Distillers, farmers and more. Bottlefork has received numerous awards and accolades including been named one of the “Best New Restaurants of 2014” by Travel + Leisure.
Chef Hickey’s highly anticipated Bridgeport venture The Duck Inn opened in 2014. The Duck Inn, a neighborhood Tavern and Dining Room that is housed in a pre-prohibition era tavern that has continuously operated for almost a century, showcases Chef Hickey’s signature ingredient and seasonally driven modern American cuisine as well as an extensive beverage program filled with craft beers, contemporary cocktails and creative wine service.

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

Kevin Hickey lives in Bridgeport with his family on the street he grew up on.

Chef Hickey is also actively involved in several philanthropic organizations including Global Act, Growing Power and Common Threads.

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.