20 librarians in search of a bar
The American Library Association is having its annual conference in a couple weeks in Chicago and I am trying to find a bar that can accommodate us on a Saturday from about 6pm-8pm. We're a group of about 20-25 academic librarians from all over the country and believe it or not, we're pretty cool (that is, no one has a bun but yeah, some of us will be wearing sensible shoes!). Ideally, we would like this bar to be within a 15-20 minute walk from our meeting at the Palmer House, to be able to deal with a large group (we're fine with splitting up at smaller tables but would like to still be close to each other), to offer some sort of small plates/appetizers, to not be crawling with jocks/business types/crazed twentysomethings, and to have some wines by the glass around $7. I've searched Metromix and Yelp and Time Out Chicago and I've yet to locate anything. I did consider Roof, but it sounded crowded and one review mentioned velvet ropes, which is definitely not in our plans. Is this impossible? I floated the idea of taking the El in order to leave the confines of the Loop but have met with some resistance. Many thanks for your help!
I'd try for a restaurant that serves alcohol and takes reservations, rather than a bar. Though some of them do reserve for parties as well. Give Roof a call, you never know. If you're talking about the Roof at the WIT hotel, it is THE hot place these days (where celebs who are in town go) but that doesn't mean they don't have a private area they'd reserve for you (I don't know that they do, though). The Palmer House also has some bars, or you might try Cafe Iberico. I think that's reasonably close, and it's a tapas place.
Iberico Cafe & Bar
737 N La Salle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654
You might give Trattoria 10 a call. They've got a small separate bar area for after work snacking on weekdays. They might be willing to reserve a portion of it for you:
Petterino's also does pre-theatre parties and might accommodate a smaller event:
First of all, once you decide, post it here so we know where to find these amazing cool librarians next Saturday
Pops for Champagne at 601 N. State - great place
bin36 on Dearborn and the river (near House of Blues) - great wine and cheese bar with huge selection of great wine in your price range
Zed451 (Clark and Superior) rooftop is terrific, but it can get crowded although not at that time of night on a Saturday these days
Martini Park at LaSalle and Erie is a terrific place and is good for the 30yo to 35yo crowd early (not sure of your age group)
For something less crowded and chic and more "hang out" style with dinner food, try Miller's Pub. Brando's also is a alot of fun - more martini bar, with cheap drink specials, very cheap for the Loop.
I'm sorry I just can't get past that male childhood fantasy of the librarian with her hair up in a bun who takes off her glasses shakes out her hair and ends up being a Maxim model. On the other hand just take a walk in any direction and you will find plenty of places. If your a fast walker you can make it to the John Hancock building,pricey cocktails but a view at night that is worth the upcharge!!!