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Jan 18, 2010 11:48 AM

Entertaining a 100+ group in Chicago

Hey everyone, first post. We're looking to feed about 100 people in the Magnificent Mile area, preferably near the Peninsula, with a great local eatery that's not hugely expensive. Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. I would contact Lettuce Entertain You. They have several dozen restaurants in the Chicago area, covering all price points and many cuisines. They are very good at arranging private events. Start by checking out their private event website at and then give their event coordinators a call.

    1. Maggiano's Little Italy might fit the bill. It's an old-style type Italian restaurant chain originating in Chicago (as a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant) that serves family style. They have party rooms in a variety of sizes and it's not hugely expensive. The food is decent. Some of it better than that.

      The location you want is on Grand Avenue.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        Good suggestion. Maggiano's does a lot of private events and does them well. Note that they are no longer part of Lettuce Entertain You, so you would need to call them rather than Lettuce. The phone number for the banquet coordinator for their location on Grand is 312-644-4284, according to their website at

        1. re: nsxtasy

          According to Lettuce's website Maggiano's is one of theirs. It's been back & forth.

          1. re: Querencia

            Not true. Maggiano's was sold by Lettuce Entertain You to Brinker International in the late 1990s and has been owned and operated by Brinker ever since. Brinker's ownership is noted on Lettuce's web page for Maggiano's ( ). In addition to the Maggiano's and the Corner Bakery chain that Brinker acquired from LEY at the same time, Brinker also owns and operates several other concepts including Chili's and On the Border.

            However, Lettuce and Brinker have a contractual relationship regarding ongoing cross-promotion and marketing of Maggiano's. For example, Maggiano's (at least the Chicago-area locations) sells and accepts LEY gift certificates. And, obviously, Maggiano's still appears listed on the LEY website.

            I don't know whether that contractual relationship extends to special event planning; if so, the LEY event planners might be able to advise you on using Maggiano's for your event as well as all the restaurants that are still part of LEY.