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Alternative to Cheesecake Factory?

Can you suggest an alternative to the Cheesecake Factory in downtown Chicago?

I'm planning for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party and she wanted to eat at the Cheesecake Factory downtown (this is the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend). However, they don't take reservations. I hate to loose 1hr+ waiting for a table to accommodate 10+ people.

Can you recommend an alternative to the Cheesecake Factory, but along those lines?

Many thanks!

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  1. How about Big Bowl? Fun food, full bar, reservations accepted. There's a location at 159 W. Erie. Here's a link to a review:


    1. I would also suggest Maggiano's - you can order ala carte or family style - http://www.maggianos.com/ at 506 N Clark -

      1. It's her party! Let her eat cake... it'll be fun to wait around in penis hats! :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: cherylknecht

          um...I've never eaten at The Cheesecake Factory...so...maybe they DO make you wear penis hats...but, aren't you actually thinking of Dick's Last Resort(never "dined" there either)?

          1. re: aelph

            I think the "hat" reference had more to do with the bachelorette party thing than anything having to do with the Cheesecake Factory (or Dick's Last Resort). At any rate, Cheesecake Factory is a tourist/family place -- no offense to the original poster, but I would think that a bachelorette party would want to avoid this type of place and go somewhere a little more "party" oriented.

        2. Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan Ave is the closest I can think of - in location and style - to Cheesecake Factory.

          1. Go to www.opentable.com; they have a listing of Chicago restaurants that accept reservations for parties of 8-20. A few that might be in your price/atmosphere range are Weber Grill, Adobo Grill, Ben Pao, Wildfire, Brasserie Jo and Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. The earlier suggestion of Maggiano's is a good one; they excel at feeding larger groups.

            1. Is there a Buca di Beppo in Chicago? If there is, I'd recommend going there. It's definately open to a party, and you can even get the Pope room (an ironic choice for a bachelorette party, I know, but it's a large, circular room, with enough privacy to keep to yourselves but still enough a part of the restaurant). And the food is meant for large parties anyways.

              1. The downtown Buca di Beppo is at 521 N. Rush Street (an appropriate neighborhood for a b-party). There also is one in Lakeview at 2941 N. Clark Street.

                I have eaten at several Buca di Beppos while on the road and thought that they actually were pretty decent; however, it's the type of chain place that typically gets slammed on this board and elsewhere for its relatively average food and faux atmosphere.

                1. We were at Carnivale and saw a lot of bachelorette parties there (no penis hats, though).