As the Ambassador Hotel prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2018, hotel management announced plans for “A Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve” party to kick off their celebration.

The hotel’s Embassy Room will be transformed into a 1920’s speakeasy, complete with gaming tables. The 10-piece jazz swing band “Southport Sound” will be on hand for dancing in the Fitz, the hotel’s restaurant that launched this past summer.

“Our party is going to be unlike any other New Year’s event in the Milwaukee. We are going to make sure it is a memorable evening from start to finish,” said Jon Jossart, the hotel’s general manager.

Guests are being encouraged to dress in 1920’s attire. Food stations, featuring modern takes on the classics created by award-winning Chef Jason Gorman, will be placed throughout the hotel’s Art Deco lobby and served by Gatsby inspired service staff. At midnight, a grand prize will be given away to one lucky gaming winner and desserts and coffee will be served in Deco Café following the balloon drop.

The party is being planned in cooperation with the television show “Wisconsin Foodie” and magazine, “Edible Milwaukee”. The Ambassador Hotel has partnered with Wisconsin Foodie and Edible Milwaukee with a commitment to host a number of co-branded events throughout 2018 and 2019. The events will highlight the hotel’s award winning culinary department and emphasize the promotion of Wisconsin-made products that have been featured on the show and in the magazine.

The Ambassador Hotel, designed by Milwaukee architects Urban Peacock and Armin Frank, opened its doors in grand style on May 4, 1928. The hotel, which has a unique Art Deco flare, also shows signs of Egyptian Revival, a popular sub-motif that emerged after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.

In the 1930s hotel lounge, patrons were often entertained by Liberace then simply known as West Allis native Walter Busterkeys. In 1960, presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy spoke to a United Chemical Workers Convention at the Ambassador. In 1964, the Beatles spent a night at the hotel after taking Milwaukee by storm.

However, in the 1970s and 1980s the neighborhood and Hotel declined. It was not until Marquette University alumni Rick Wiegand purchased the property in 1995, and started on a decade long $14 million restoration of the property that the hotel regained its glory. In 2017, hotel management recruited renowned chef Jason Gorman to help the hotel rebrand its main restaurant, bar and coffee shop into food and beverage destinations.

Today, the Ambassador Hotel truly is Milwaukee hospitality gem providing an urban oasis near the heart of downtown. It offers a remarkable blend of modern amenities and 1920’s Art Deco design. From the original marble floors and bronze elevator doors to the ornate plasterwork, every detail of the Ambassador Hotel is a testament to the bold beauty of Art Deco and the history of the Near West Side of Milwaukee. The Ambassador features 132 renovated guest rooms and suites, along with 3,000 square feet of event space.

Ambassador Hotel

Lee Matz