Woke up at 4:18. Oof. …

Woke up at 4:18. Oof. I went to bed early, so this isn't too bad, but six hours of sleep is not as good as eight, in any universe. And this has been something of a pattern the last few nights, so it's starting to pile up. I woke up thinking about the book party I'm having in Chicago July 23rd; various people are coming in from out of town for it, including both sets of parents (who have never met before (!)). In the afternoon, we'd been hoping to have an actual event, something where I wouldn't just read, but my sister would dance and my other talented local S. Asian friends would perform. Something fun, with beverages and Sri Lankan snacks made by my mother. And yes, if you live in Chicago, you're invited. There'll be a more private dinner that evening that I probably can't invite you to because we can't afford to feed everyone we know in Chicago (in addition to the out-of-town guests), but the afternoon event is open to all.

The problem is that we can't seem to nail down a location. I had really hoped to use The Hothouse -- it's a great space and would be perfect for it; very comfy and relaxed and fun. But they've been enthusiastic yet unwilling to commit the date. So I woke up at 4:18 a.m. thinking -- we can just have it in Ganz Hall. It's at my new university, assuming it's free that afternoon, as a faculty member, I can reserve it, the department would be happy to have me having a book launch party at the school, the small auditorium room is gorgeous and opens into a beautiful room where we could easily serve snacks and wine, my parents would get to see where I work. It's all good, and I should probably just go ahead and book it, but I'm loathe to give up my idea of hanging out at The Hothouse. If I could just get an answer out of them, one way or the other...

And heck, I just tried to go to their website, to get a phone number to try calling, and the site is down. Argh...

We're also having a lot of trouble settling on a restaurant we like for the private dinner. Everything seems either too expensive (Arun's), or doesn't have a private room to seat 75 people (Red Light) or too boring (the Greek places next door). Argh. And we really should decide this this week, so that we can make and send out invites next week, before I leave for a month and a half of travelling.

None of this is all that important, in the grand scheme of things. But it's driving me crazy, and apparently interfering with my sleep. I just want to get it settled, and move on to actually getting stuff done. It'll be fun to make the invites -- we've picked out the papers and everything. But I can't start assembling them until I know what to print on them...

One thought on “Woke up at 4:18. Oof. …”

  1. Mary Anne,

    A few possibilities for restaurants that are both good, interesting, and can accommodate 75 people:

    – Topo Gigio on Wells, I think their upstairs party space can handle up to 100 people. My favorite Italian in the city.

    – Gallaria Marchetti (http://www.galleriamarchetti.com/) indoor/outdoor space. Good food and a very unique space (likely slightly more pricy than Topo Gigio but worth calling, may surprise you.

    – 3rd Coast. Caf/Winebar in River North. For the right price they will rent you the entire restaurant for a private party, and I think they can handle 75 (not sure if they can hit 100). For private events they do a great job on the food and the price is quite manageable, however weekends may be trickier than weekdays.

    – Not sure how much space they have but I think Wildfire in river north recently (last year or so) added a large private dining space. Food’s incrediably good and Lettuce Entertain You places always have done events well in the past when people I know have used them.

    – One of my favorite restaurants in town might also be worth calling, Zealous in River North. They have a large room and I know they have held private events there in the past – depending on the menu they can be quite pricy, but unlike Arun’s they do offer an ala carte menu and I’m sure could work with you on the menu and price.

    – Bergoff’s downtown does have space that can accommodate 75+ people – though might not be all that exciting, the pricing is manageable.

    – The CSO has a private club on the 7th and 9th floors which can be rented out for private events. They have their own kitchen and chefs – might be worth a call, the pricing seemed manageable but I didn’t investigate fully all the details.

    – The Hotel Rennaissance in the Loop is, I’ve been told, one of the best in town for food and is priced a bit lower than the Four Seasons or the Ritz. It is actually surprisingly manageable for large events as the rooms and other costs are not that high if you do the catering through the hotel – a very elegant dinner there might be doable for <$50/person (wine might add to that but it is possible that would even include drinks, space etc) Hope this helps. It might be worth investigating caterers if you would already have a space - saves people travel, parking again etc - and likely would cost the same or even less than a restaurant for 75+. Shannon

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