Near Hotel 71
We are staying at Hotel 71 near the river in a few weeks. Looking for recs nearby for a group of 20 to celebrate my son's engagement.
We'd like something similar to Hopleaf or Fork for unique gastro pub choices and a good variety of craft beers.
I'd start with Farmhouse, on Chicago and Franklin. The beer list speaks for itself and I've heard good things about the food. No idea how well they would handle a large-ish group so I'd give them a call.
Oh, and the Publican (duh!). A group your size may prove difficult, but if you called them up I'm sure they would be happy to try and work something out with you.
There's also The Gage. I don't think the beer list is much to write home about (it's fine but it's hardly a craft beer destination) but the food is pretty well done. Not the most adventurous gastropub-like menu, compared to the Publican or Longman & Eagle, for example, but it's tasty. I suspect they might be best equipped to handle a party of your size.
If you're willing to leave the downtown area, The Bristol, in Bucktown, would be worth a phone call, as well. It's a very short cab ride from your hotel and really nails the gastropub/craft beer concept.