Private rooms for small parties of 15 or less
I'm planning a surprise 30th birthday party for my brother and have been having difficulty finding restaurants or bars that serve food that have private or semi-private rooms for smaller parties. Most restaurants require you to have 18 or more guests. I'm looking for a place either in the downtown, South Loop, or Lincoln Park/Lakeview areas. A lot of my brother's friends are young so we're looking for a place that's fun and reasonably priced.
The Swisotel is located at 323 East Wacker Drive. Of the places mentioned above, from the Swisotel...
Coco Pazzo Cafe is about 1/2 mile away (4 blocks north, 1 block west).
Vong's Thai Kitchen is also about 1/2 mile away (1 block north, 4 blocks west).
Trattoria No. 10 is about 1 mile away (5 blocks south, 5 blocks west).
Tizi Melloul is about 1 mile away (3 blocks north, 9 blocks west).
one sixtyblue, Chicago Firehouse, Opera, De Cero, Green Zebra, Spring, and Zealous are further, 1.5 miles or more, too far for most folks to walk.
If you'd like something closer, there are lots of restaurants in the immediate vicinity, within a block or two, many of which are in hotels, including the Palm (right in the Swisotel), Shula's (in the Sheraton), Aria (in the Fairmont), etc. The website for the Palm says that they have private dining rooms for groups of 10-90; Shula's says up to 45; nothing on Aria's website. The websites also show whom to contact to reserve their private rooms. Links:
The Palm - www.thepalm.com/sitemain.cfm?site_id=10
Shula's - www.shulas.com/locations.php?sub=3&l=1&restid=3
Aria - www.ariachicago.com
Rather than calling a whole bunch of places, the easiest way to find something for your group is probably to start by calling the concierge at the Swisotel to see what kind of arrangements could be made, either there or with another place close by. This is what concierges do for a living, provide information to assist with specific needs for their guests, and in situations like these they are often aware of places that the general public might not have access to (or even know about). That's what I would do first. (Unless you think one of these places, like the Palm, is going to be absolutely perfect for you, in which case call them first!)
check out chicago firehouse,,they have super cool private rooms or Opera also in the south loop,,,there is a really fun miixcan place near oprah's studio that also has a nice private room but i cant think of the name right now,,,they serve all kinds of really intersting kinds of tacos..also soem of the bar louies have private rooms but food not as good
I've mentioned this before, but I would try the Tizi Melloul. You can have your party in the Crescent Room with 15 people. It's a nice room and you get the bar beforehand. A middle-eastern feast that is fun. They can also arrange for a belly-dancer if you want.
Note: 15 is the min. I think you said 15 or less.
You can often check websites for this information; most restaurants say on their websites what size groups they can take. For example, Trattoria No. 10 says they can arrange space from 12 to 250 ( www.trattoria10.com ); Coco Pazzo Cafe says their platform area holds "up to 25" ( www.cocopazzocafe.com ); etc.
If you're talking with a restaurant and they say they only have rooms for 18 or 25 or whatever number is too much for you, don't hang up without asking them if they happen to know of some other nearby place with a smaller room... ;)