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Savvy Spots for a Thursday Night Cocktail Party

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A new trend? Events on a Thursday night. (Think kick-off cocktail parties for a charity event, a casual fundraiser and even a launch party.) People love Thursday night parties because your guests can leave work, head to your bash for a drink and then get home at a reasonable hour. Here are some of our favorite Chicago spots for a Thursday night event.

The Boarding House

The Boarding House’s impressive, comfortable dining room has design elements including soaring ceilings, exposed beams, inlaid hardwood floors and tables, a wine station, large bay windows overlooking Chicago’s iconic River North neighborhood, plush banquettes and more. A custom ceiling installation made from nearly 4,000 wine bottles brings an exciting design element to the room while creating a sense of intimacy.

 

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CINDY'S AT THE CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION HOTEL

The private dining room at the CAA Hotel’s Cindy’s restaurant, affectionately named “The Library,” honors the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the non-profit beneficiary of a portion of private dining sales. The Library space is ideal for parties up to 25 seated or 40 cocktail-reception style. Cindy’s provides for a flexible dining area and also has an incredible outdoor rooftop, with a balcony and fire pit accessibility.

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NoMI Garden at Park Hyatt

NoMI Garden is an urban sanctuary seven floors above downtown Chicago. This beautiful (and sexy!) rooftop restaurant and bar is a summertime haven for sipping artfully crafted cocktails, flawless wines and a seasonal menu. Host your Thursday cocktail party around the teak wood bar, and your guests will be in awe.  NoMI Garden truly inspires the senses—plus, the city views simply cannot be duplicated.

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ROCKIT BAR & GRILL

While the upstairs of Rockit Bar & Grill has always been a favorite for Thursday night bashes, the recent renovations make the River North spot even more sought after. With a large central bar, expanded DJ area, spacious booths and so much more, this is a great spot to throw any party—fundraiser, birthday party or cocktail bash. You can’t go wrong with Rockit.

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The Library at Public Hotel

If you’re looking for a fun Gold Coast spot to host your party, Public Hotel’s charming Library space could be right up your alley. The Library features original wood moldings that have been restored to interpret a traditional English Gentleman’s Club, with exposed, reclaimed wood beams and Douglas Fir wood columns. We also love The Library’s enormous fireplace, imported Christian Liaigre standing lamps and Alice in Wonderland Chesterfield sofa. Reminiscent of the 1950’s American and European coffee houses, The Library features coffee by day, and turns into a sexy lounge with cocktails, wine and beer offerings at night.

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The Terrace at Trump

While Chicago isn’t lacking when it comes to stunning rooftop terraces, The Terrace at Trump, located on the 16th floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, offers some of the best views of the city, showcasing the Wrigley Clock Tower, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. (In summer, the twice-a-week fireworks from Navy Pier up the viewing ante.) The Terrace offers multiple semi-private spaces, which can hold groups from 10 to 180 guests. The serene ambiance with contemporary lounge furniture, fire pits, green landscaping, mood lighting and state-of-the-art sound system all serve as the perfect backdrop to dishes such as goat cheese lollipops, mini beef sliders and shrimp with hoisin dipping sauce, as well as a variety of boutique wines and handcrafted cocktails.

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Hubbard Inn

With three spacious floors, River North’s Hubbard Inn is nothing if not flexible for private parties and events with each level offering a variety of options. On the first floor, opt for The Communal, a long wood-topped table that seats up to 22. Or, for a more intimate setting, book the Fireplace Lounge, which accommodates 20 to 30 guests. The second floor features two Library Lounges (10 to 15 guests), while The Cage is perfect for a casual reception of 20 to 30 guests. The third floor is perfect for larger groups with 40 to 70 for a seated dinner or 250 for a reception. No matter where you end up, every space is beautifully decorated with creative artwork, quirky knickknacks, stunning chandeliers, and cozy couches and chairs.

Fremont

With eight event spaces spread over two floors, plus a retractable roof, River North’s Fremont is one of the hottest new party spots in town. Fremont can offer an eclectic food-centric bash or a more elevated nightlife experience. With two levels to accommodate up to 600 guests, plus 3 large bars and an impressive stage for bands and DJs, Fremont will exude an energy level that is both exhilarating and inviting.

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STK

Photo by Jorge Gera

Artfully mixing the energy of Chicago’s gallery district with the bustling Loop, STK embodies the modern steakhouse feel with a chic lounge and urban-modern-chic vibe. Throwing a huge party? You can do a full restaurant buyout (234 seated or 500 cocktail style), but there are also four private and semi-private dining suites for more intimate affairs. We love the semi-private Champagne Bar (shown above) for a cocktail party or seating for up to 60. Each private room also is equipped with a 55-inch TV.