The lush Soho House Chicago finally opened its doors this month—and what an entrance. For nearly 20 years, the artsy London brand, which offers hotel, dining and private memberships for those in creative fields, has emulated and embraced the unique characteristics of each of its properties while maintaining a distinct signature style. Located in the West Loop, Soho House Chicago offers 40 guest rooms and two front-facing restaurants on Restaurant Row, an exclusive 40-seat screening room, fitness center, Cowshed Spa and Salon and the Allis Bar.
“Join us for dinner under the stars,” the invitation had read. It’s the kind of enticement that often turns out to be an exaggeration in Los Angeles, where outdoor dining can mean a few tables wedged into a corner of a parking lot or spilling out into a busy thoroughfare with cars whizzing by so closely, you could almost reach in and adjust their air conditioning. But this time, the setting was truly magical.
I just came back from a screening of the delicious Hundred-Foot Journey, the Helen Mirren movie that opens later this month, about the rivalry between two restaurants in a small village in the South of France. Mirren is the icy proprietress of a decades-old, Michelin-starred classical French restaurant; across the road the boisterous Kadam family is opening a traditional Indian spot featuring the vivid cuisine—and lively music--of their native Mumbai.
IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, Evanston has earned some serious cred as a destination just outside Chicago with all the perks of the big city and small town combined. It started with food, of course, with the entrance and incredible success of sustainable restaurant Found Kitchen and Social House (run by Morton Steakhouse heir Amy Morton). Now, with a flurry of new restaurants and the opening of several unique event venues, Evanston has become the latest all-in-one hub for the city residents, tourists and, yes, even groups.
Plante Moran unveiled the new state-of-the-art executive boardroom for not-for-profit organizations, community groups and associations in need of a venue for meetings or events. The boardroom, located in downtown Chicago, seats 18 people and features a large television monitor, Internet access and video connection.
Springfield, Ill. has recently experienced an increase in demand to host conferences for middle and high-school aged attendees.
"We are located in the heart of the Midwest which is an easy drive for much of the country," said Gina Gemberling, Springfrield Convention and Visitors Bureau acting director. "And our variety of historic sites and entertainment options make us stand out as an easy and low-cost destination for youth meetings."