A Derby themed gala to commemorate Hotel Baker’s 90th anniversary was held on June 2, 2018. The invitation-only event was both a celebration an important milestone as well a tribute to the original owner Colonel Edward Baker, who opened the downtown St. Charles hotel on June 2, 1928.
Joe and Rowena Salas, the current owners of Hotel Baker, have chosen the Derby theme as a tribute to Colonel Baker, who had a passion for horses, especially his beloved horse Greyhound. Event dress was cocktail attire, but guests were also encouraged to wear hats or fascinators to immerse themselves in the theme.
Guests were treated to music by The Champagne Kings, the Tom Linsk Band and pianist Johnny Burnett, along with Derby-inspired food created by Executive Chef Kieth Willis.
In partnership with the St. Charles History Museum, a mini pop-up exhibit paying tribute to the hotel’s history, Colonel Baker, and to his beloved Greyhound was also featured. Items included some of Colonel Baker’s personal belongings, as well as other items that have historical significance for the Baker family and the hotel.
Salas said of the past fifteen years, “It has really been a wonderful journey for our family. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined how it has changed our lives. We love the hotel. A lot of love and passion go into keeping the hotel and Colonel Baker’s vision alive. It’s been our pride and joy to keep it alive.”