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  #1  
Old 04-08-2014, 06:15 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Suggestions for party venue?

I'm on a reunion planning committee, and we're looking for an interesting venue in downtown Chi, for about 150 people (many of them elderly.) Any one with any ideas?

This is a well-heeled group, so we're NOT looking for cheap, but neither do we want to rent Soldier Field. We've had prior reunions in the Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art, and those have been successful.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:30 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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I once went to a wedding reception at the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Center. (If you've been, it's the large ballroom on the second level.) It could definitely hold 150 people for a party. Symphony Center apparently rents out other spaces as well; see here.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:33 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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The Cultural Center has lots of beautiful spaces. And the Ballroom at Navy Pier is tres elegant. There's also a space in the observation deck at the (original) Prudential Building where I was at a swanky party once.

PS - can I get an invitation?
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:50 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Oh, and I was invited a few times to an event at the University Club of Chicago, in the Cathedral Hall. Extremely swanky, but I'm pretty sure you have to be a member to book an event. It's basically a very fancy country club on Michigan Avenue.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2014, 01:26 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Superb ideas, thanks!
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2014, 04:22 PM
Missy2U Missy2U is offline
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Just in case you're still looking, I once attended a work bash at the Field Museum - it was out of this world! I got to sit under a dinosaur or an elephant or something while I ate dinner! It was seriously fabulous.

ETA - this was a pretty formal event - even though I sat under a dinosaur or an elephant or something. There were stairways on either side - I don't remember what room - this was back around 1998.

Last edited by Missy2U; 04-08-2014 at 04:24 PM..
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2014, 01:37 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
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The Great Hall at Union Station is a popular and impressive venue. Info. On the other hand, it seats up to 1,500 for dinner* so might be a mite oversized for your event.

*That sounds a little high to me. I've been in the Great Hall countless times, and have seen it set up for a dinner once or twice, and it doesn't seem quite that large.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2014, 09:55 PM
Simmerdown Simmerdown is offline
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How about a Spirit of Chicago/Odyssey cruise, or somesuch? I played in a band on such a cruise a few years back and it was an awesome time. Just got off a live chat with them and they can accommodate from 125-600, depending on the boat. They seem to have accessible facilities too.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:05 PM
Foggy Foggy is offline
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What's wrong with Ed's house?
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2014, 11:27 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Note that he said "a well-heeled group." That's not a good description of the SD staff. Dexter travels in some better circles than online riff-raff.
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2014, 09:30 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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We met yesterday, thanks for the suggestions. The Field Museum was suggested but they were a little too pricey. And one of the committee members says she gets seasick watching a goldfish bowl, so (alas) the Spirit of Chicago cruise is out. Someone said that the University Club is a little shabby? ...

Anyhow, mucho thanks.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2014, 10:52 AM
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
We met yesterday, thanks for the suggestions.
Wait... You ask for suggestions on a party location on Tuesday and have the party on Wednesday?! How? I always understood stuff like this had to be planned months in advance.

What kind of dark magic do you use?
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2014, 06:27 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
Wait... You ask for suggestions on a party location on Tuesday and have the party on Wednesday?! How? I always understood stuff like this had to be planned months in advance.

What kind of dark magic do you use?
The PLANNING COMMITTEE met yesterday to start inquiries. The reunion will be in Sept 2015.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:14 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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Consider the Union League Club or the Adler.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:35 AM
Missy2U Missy2U is offline
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Thought of a couple more (I used to do these kinds of events in my last job).

Chicago Public Library

Lincoln Park Zoo
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:54 AM
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
The PLANNING COMMITTEE met yesterday to start inquiries. The reunion will be in Sept 2015.

I think I should go to bed now.
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2014, 09:18 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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If I was throwing a swanky soire, I'd look into having it at Cafe Brauer.
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:19 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Thanks, all, for some great ideas. Keep 'em coming, we're just starting prelim inquiries.
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:58 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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I've been to a darned nice charity event at Nacional 27 where they do everything for you and the food and drink are fantastic, and another nice event at River East Art Center - eh, scratch that, looks like it's no longer doing private events. I did a search for "event space on Chicago River" and came across these listings, look interesting, maybe there's something in there?
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:21 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Public libraries usually have space to rent for private events. Depending on the library and the room, they can range from grand through charming to depressingly utilitarian. I have no personal experience with the Chicago Public Library, but I did find this page about their spaces with a link to their prices.

Last edited by bibliophage; 04-12-2014 at 09:22 AM..
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  #21  
Old 04-12-2014, 06:24 PM
Little_Pig Little_Pig is offline
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Maybe the Chicago Cultural Center - Private Events?
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  #22  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:44 PM
Lochdale Lochdale is offline
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Chicago Cut has a very nice party room. I believe you can also rent the grill at Smith & Wollensky.

Last edited by Lochdale; 04-12-2014 at 08:45 PM..
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