Archives for August 2014

Favorite Chicago Restaurants for a Rehearsal Dinner

Now that you you know right questions to ask when looking for your rehearsal dinner spot, here are just a few of our favorite Chicago restaurants with private dining space!

CASUAL RESTAURANTS
Looking for a laid-back, inexpensive, way to celebrate the last night before the wedding? These options are fun and very “Chicago”!

Gino’s East 
162 E Superior Street – Gold Coast (keep in mind they have many other locations!)
Cuisine: Pizzeria
Capacity: The Sunroom offers up to 30 guests for a sit-down dinner. The Third Floor East holds up to 50 guests for a sit down dinner, and The Third Floor West holds up to 75 guests for dinner – combine them for a total of 125 guests for a sit down sinner.
Packages: Start at $16.95 per person, not including tax or gratuity.
Alcohol Packages: Start at $13.00/person for just beer or wine for 2 hours.
Food and Beverage Minimums: Range from $1,000 – $2,500

Jake Melnicks
41 East Superior Street – Gold Coast

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Cuisine: BBQ & Grill
Capacity: “The Keg Room” seats up to 40 guests and the seasonally, the Veranda seats up to 40 guests.
Packages: Start at $24.95 per person, not including tax or gratuity
Alcohol Packages: Start at $24.00/person for beer and wine for two hours.
Food and Beverage Minimums: $1,000 – $1,500

BUSINESS CASUAL RESTAURANTS
The best way to label the restaurants that are “a little more fancy than a pizza joint,
but don’t require a suit jacket or your life savings.”

Grand Lux Cafe
600 N Michigan Avenue –  Mag Mile
We all know they are famous for their long lines – but who knew they had private dining?!

Rush Room
Cuisine: Everything. Literally.
Capacity: Rush Room seats up to 75 guests
Packages: start at $41.95 per person, not including tax or gratuity
Alcohol Packages: Start at $23/person for beer and wine for two hours.
Food and Beverage Minimums: Start at $2,000

Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
437 North Rush Street – River North
private-dining-cafe
Cuisine: Contemporary Italian Steakhouse
Capacity: The Cafe holds up to 72 guests
Packages: Start at $72.95 per person — including 3 hours of beer and wine!
Food and Beverage Minimums: Start at $2,000

Osteria Via Stato
620 North State Street – River North

privateparties01
Cuisine: Italian
Capacity: Private dining space seats up to 65 guests
Packages: Start at $41.95 per person, not including tax or gratuity
Beverage Packages: $35/guest for 2 hours
Food and Beverage Minimums: Start at $3,000

FINE DINING
More upscale and than the previous restaurant suggestions, perfect for the “foodies”!

GT Fish & Oyster – River North
531 N Wells Street
gtwhaleroom
Cuisine: 
Seafood
Capacity: Private dining space seats up to 40 guests
Packages: Start at $55 per person, not including tax or gratuity
Beverage Packages: Based on consumption
Food and Beverage Packages: $1,000 – $1,500, plus a $500 rental fee

Paris Club
59 W Hubbard Street – River North

Salon_Prive
Cuisine: Classic French
Capacity: Seats up to 72 guests
Packages: Start at $55 per person, not including tax or gratuity
Alcohol Packages: Start at $29.95/person, just beer & wine for two hours
Food and Beverage Minimum: Start at $4,000

Spiaggia
980 North Michigan Ave – Gold Coast

private dining

Cuisine: Italian
Capacity: Ranging from 10 -300
Packages: Start at $80 per person for a three course dinner, plus beer & wine
Alcohol Packages: Upgraded bar packages begin at $10/person
Food and Beverage Minimums: Around $6,000 (this amount significantly increases for a buy-out of the space)

**Keep in mind that restaurants like to change up their private dining menus seasonally. When it’s time for you to choose a rehearsal dinner space, ask for their most recent menu (if its not already on their website!) to see if there are any changes!**

How to Find the Perfect Restaurant for a Rehearsal Dinner in Chicago

With the plethora of restaurants in Chicago, and new ones popping up, whats seems like every week, choosing a place for your rehearsal dinner can be quite the challenge. Here at Sweetchic, we’ve even put together our own Rehearsal Dinner Restaurant List just so we can stay on top of all the restaurants!

But first… What should you look for when searching for a rehearsal dinner spot?

  • How many guests can the restaurant’s private dining space hold?
    Tip: Some restaurants will list out the capacity on their websites, stating that they can hold up to 100 in such-in-such space. Keep in mind that this maximum number listed is most likely for a cocktail reception, not a sit-down dinner.

  • How much does it cost per person?
    Tip: Keep in mind, this normally does not include alcohol, just the food. It also does not include tax OR gratuity (which can be about 18 – 22%)

  • How much are the alcohol packages?
    Tip: Just like a wedding, there are different alcohol packages offered. It could be cash bar, based on consumption, or an open bar. Packages for rehearsal dinners usually start at 2 hours of open bar.

  • What is the food and beverage minimum and/or rental fee for the space?
    Tip:
     What is a food and beverage minimum? It is the minimum amount of money that the client must spend/reach in order to book the space. Again, keep in mind that this does NOT include tax or gratuity. Most of the time, the room rental fee will be waved if the client reaches the minimum, but if not, they may charge you a  “rental fee” of the amount left over to reach the  minimum. Basically, if your short of your minimum – just order some extra food or beverages – you don’t want your money to go to nothing! Food and beverage minimums are normally determined by the space your are renting, the number of guests attending, and the date and time!

 Your rehearsal dinner can be as casual or formal as you want it to be! Stay tuned for some of our favorite Chicago restaurants to host a great rehearsal dinner!