The winner is: Nick’s Pizza & Pub
The third time’s a charm for Nick Sarillo. In 2011, the Nick’s Pizza & Pub owner celebrated his triple win of the prestigious Illinois Restaurant Neighbor Award, which he also received in 2007 and 2008.
Named by the National Restaurant Association and partner American Express, this award aims to honor foodservice establishments that excel in local community service, which makes it no surprise that the pizza palace (located in Elgin and Crystal Lake) was chosen.
Sarillo donates five percent of annual net sales to charitable causes, giving back to more than 50 local and national charities.
Nick’s Special Events team creates the artwork and distributes fliers to generate awareness about the fundraiser and later donates 15 percent of sales on the day of the event. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a slice while giving a slice back to those in need.
Nick’s Pizza & Pub, Elgin and Crystal Lake, 815.356.5559
The winner is: The Chicago Firehouse
Normally a basement invokes smells of mold and images of long forgotten childhood relics; however The Chicago Firehouse has molded its subbasement space into a superb spot for small meetings and dinner parties.
Built in 1905 as the home for Engine Company 104, the historic property located in the South Loop was transformed into a dining establishment in 1999 and features space in several private nooks for up to 175 guests.
Yet the baroque style Wine Cellar Room, residing 28 inches beneath the original firehouse basement, is the best spot in the venue. It can accommodate up to 30 guests, features an antique, handcrafted, long wooden table and is awash in candlelight that reflects off the wine cabinets that line the perimeter.
That’s what we call an extra-alarm space.
The Chicago Firehouse, Chicago, 312.786.1401
Hotel Special Service
The winner is: Affinia Chicago’s Comfort Hour
In October, Affinia Chicago welcomed a new customercentric program that speaks to our creature comforts.
Appropriately dubbed Tender Loving Comfort, the hotel provides guests with the little extras that count, including guests’ favorite magazines, game consoles for the kids and even cloud-soft pillows.
Every day, Affinia Chicago hosts the Comfort Hour at 5 p.m. to take requests and is devoted to customer feedback to make the program, and the hotel stay, the best it can be.
Affinia Chicago, Chicago, 312.787.6000
Unique Conference Complex
The winner is: The Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center
When we saw Sound of Music at the Drury Lane last fall, the unique entertainment and conference venue quickly became “one of our favorite things.”
It’s rare you can combine business and pleasure but the Oakbrook Terrace-based multi-complex has a handle on solving the equation with 50,000 square feet of versatile space, 12 meeting/conference rooms, renowned catering and buffet services for up to 2,600 people and award-winning live theatre.
Although it seems like an exotic mecca, Drury Lane is conveniently located just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago— yet you’ll want to spend hours more onsite.
Oakbrook Terrace, 630.530.8300
The winner is: Salted Caramel
If there were a big top of bon bons, a circus of confections, it would be Chicago’s own Salted Carmel—a boutique supplier that has sweet teeth craving their handcrafted, gourmet delicacies.
Started in 2007 by Ginna Haravon after a Superbowl cooking challenge, the company has quickly grown from her original recipe of Bacon Bourbon Carmel Corn (its best seller to date) to offer truffles, salted caramel hot cocoa, gelatos, fruit chews, marshmallows, popsicles and good oldfashioned candy.
Salted Carmel is a purveyor at pop-up shops all over the city’s north side where, each season, Haravon and her two partners offer a timely edition of sweet treats.
From sweet tables for your event to client gift bags, Salted Carmel has it covered.
Salted Carmel, Chicago, 312.307.3344