Chicago, Illinois, is the third most populous city in the United States and one of the most iconic cities in the world. It is home to some of the most famous landmarks, such as The Willis Tower and Navy Pier, and has a vibrant culture that attracts millions of visitors each year.
Chicago is also known for its outdoor restaurant spaces, many of which offer stunning views of Lake Michigan or downtown Chicago's skyline. From rooftop bars to waterfront patios, there are plenty of opportunities for an unforgettable meal with friends or family.
No matter what type of experience you'd like to have when dining outdoors in Chicago, plenty of options are sure to please everyone! From upscale rooftop bars to casual eateries near baseball stadiums, there's something for everyone when it comes to enjoying delicious food under the stars!
Outdoor Restaurant Options in Chicago
It is a sound idea to enlist the services of a food expert when hosting an event at an outdoor restaurant space in Chicago. From delicious appetizers and entrees to creative drinks and desserts that keep well under the conditions, professional caterers can create a suitable menu for the occasion. They also provide experienced servers and some offer beverage service.
Florists in Chicago know precisely how to add elegance and beauty to outdoor event spaces. From colorful centerpieces and table arrangements to stunning floral displays, the city’s flower shops also offer customization services.
Live bands introduce acoustic vibrancy to any occasion held at an outdoor restaurant space in Chicago. Whether it's a solo acoustic guitar or a full band, live music creates an enjoyable atmosphere and makes the event more memorable.
If you are getting hitched or renewing your vows, it is essential to have a professional officiant preside over the special occasion held at an outdoor restaurant in Chicago, such as weddings or anniversaries. They will ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed correctly, handle legal issues, and ensure everything runs smoothly.
Outdoor Restaurant Vendors in Chicago
- Truffleberry Market
Truffleberry Market strives to challenge the often underestimated view of catering. They focus on creating unique menus and restaurant-like dining experiences that exceed guest expectations. This company was started by chefs who noticed a lack of quality within the catering industry. At Truffleberry Market, they only use the highest quality ingredients and take extra care to create evocative presentations. They also offer thoughtful service that considers their clients' needs. As a result, Truffleberry Market provides a unique and memorable food experience.
- Romee Willow Florals
At Romee Willow Florals, they take a fun and friendly approach to their job, ensuring that each client feels welcome and at ease with their decisions. Their staff has created flowers for dozens of weddings and other events in Chicago and is devoted to creating one-of-a-kind designs that represent each customer's personality. Not only do they provide personalized service, but they're also socially inclusive and environmentally conscious. They believe love should be available to everyone without judgment and work hard to make all their clients comfortable. According to Romee Willow Florals, flowers should bring pleasure to both the giver and receiver.
- David Paige Music
David Paige Music is the perfect choice for couples who want to add extra energy to their wedding reception or private events. The band's powerful vocals, tight rhythm section, and talented guitarist will keep guests entertained all night long. David Paige Music performs at ceremonies, cocktail hours, and other events. With over a decade of experience, David Paige and his band are experts at creating unforgettable experiences.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Restaurant Spaces in Chicago
Planning an outdoor restaurant event is a good strategy to bring in more business and highlight the best of your restaurant. However, outdoor restaurant spaces come with their set of advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully weighed before booking a venue. Here is a look at some pros and cons of organizing an outdoor restaurant event.
- An outdoor restaurant event can provide guests with a refreshing atmosphere thanks to natural breezes and sunshine.
- Guests who choose to attend your outdoor restaurant event will have the opportunity to enjoy their meal al fresco. This type of dining provides a beautiful backdrop for guests as they savor their dishes in the open air.
- Hosting events outside often results in increased attendance due to its accessibility and attractive setting for guests.
- When hosting an outdoor restaurant event, you’ll be able to use surrounding landscaping features like trees, flowers, and fountains as decorations instead of relying solely on balloons and streamers.
- Rainy days or extreme temperatures could potentially ruin plans if responsible precautions aren’t taken beforehand or if no plan B has been put into place should this occur.
- Depending on the size and scope of the event, extra setup may be required to accommodate additional tables or stages for live entertainment.
- Since any public space can attract people with less than honorable intentions, additional security measures may need to be implemented to ensure everyone’s safety during the event.
- With an increase in demand comes more labor requirements - meaning staff must work longer hours and potentially even hire temporary employees to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently throughout the entire day/evening/weekend (depending on how long your event lasts).
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Restaurant Events in Chicago
Hosting outdoor restaurant events can help you drum up business, but they are also a lot of work to organize. Here are a few tips to make sure your outdoor event in Chicago goes off without a hitch:
- Choose the right location: Go with a spot that's large enough to accommodate your guests and has easy access to public transportation. If you're planning on serving food, ensure adequate seating and shade.
- Get the proper permits: You'll need to apply for a visa from the city to hold your event. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete the paperwork and submit it for approval.
- Plan for bad weather: Chicago summers can be hot and humid and the winter weather gets snowy and extremely windy, so make sure you have contingency plans in inclement weather. Have tents or canopies to provide shade and fans or air conditioners to keep guests comfortable.
- Have enough staff: Outdoor events can be hectic, so it's essential to have enough staff to help things run smoothly. In addition to servers and cooks, you'll also need people to help with set-up and clean-up.
- Promote, promote, promote: Make sure you let everyone know about your event ahead of time so they can make plans to attend. Utilize social media, distribute flyers in local businesses, and do whatever else you can to get the word out.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Historic Pullman Foundation Visitors Center
The Historic Pullman Foundation Visitors Center is located in the Pullman Palace Car Company’s former Sales and Administration Building. Constructed in 1881, the building served as the Pullman Company's headquarters until 1897. In its heyday, the Company was the world's largest manufacturer of railroad cars. Today, the Visitors Center is operated by the Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Pullman Company and its impact on Chicago. The Visitors Center offers a variety of exhibits and programs that explore the company's history and its influence on Chicago's architecture, industry, and culture.
Most often, when people refer to "Pullman," they are referencing the Pullman Historic District--a title it earned after being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. The district contains the former Pullman factories and the company town of Pullman that provided housing for its workers. This area also includes Le Clair Row Houses, Angleterre Hotel, Arcade Park, and other buildings related to Pullman's social and architectural history in late 19th century America.
- Greenstone United Methodist Church
The Greenstone Church was constructed from Pennsylvania green stone in 1882 by George Pullman, an industrialist who also developed the surrounding community of Pullman. It boasts a one-of-a-kind exterior designed by Solon Beman and provides economic assistance to nearby families struggling to make ends meet. The Greenstone United Methodist Church works to make a difference in the lives of people in their community by hosting regular events like movie nights and holiday parties.