J.C. asks from Evanston, IL on October 02, 2008
40Th Birthday Party Suggestions in Evanston
My husband is turning 40 in November. We would like to have a party somewhere other than our home in or around Evanston. We've looked into renting a party room at a local bar or restaurant but the minimum cost would be around a thousand dollars. We've come up with a guest list of about 75 people and while I know my husband really wants to celebrate his 40th with a big party, I am a little concerned with the final cost. Any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
M.G. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
I don't know where you've checked but here are the places I know of in Evanston for parties: billiards room at Pete Miller's, party room at Nevins, snug room at Celtic Knot, party room at American Legion Hall next to Chandler Newberger, party room at any of the recreation dept buildings, Prairie Moon party room, the Margarita European Inn has a beautiful second floor lounge that they rent out, Union restaurant party room, some of the new condo buildings have party spaces....do you know anyone who could hook you up with one of these?
Obviously, a way to economize would be to avoid serving a full meal by scheduling a cocktail party or brunch. A backyard tailgate type party would at least keep the bulk of people out of your house and could be teamed up with a NU game.
K. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
Hey, we live in Evanston. A year and a half ago we did a combo baptism lunch/birthday party for two of our kids. We didn't have as large a number as you are talking about, but it was pretty reasonable. We fed everyone (lunch - burgers, etc) and also paid for drinks. Again, it was lunch so people weren't drinking like crazy. It was a nice big space with pool table, foosball, etc. It was run well and we had a great event.
Good luck. My husband's 40th is in two years so I'd love to hear what you figure out.
J.S. answers from Chicago on October 08, 2008
I suggest you use a local pizza restaurant. I used Leona's and had variety of pizza cut in small diamond pieces. I had a large side salad and fresh cut fruit with garlic bread. The key is a CASH BAR. You supply the food and soft drink, cake and coffee, and, if, the guest wants to drink, they cover that cost. 60 were served for $560 with tip.
For my daughter's baby shower of 65 I also used pizza by alex on Montrose near Milwaukee in Chicago. They have gourmet pizzas and I had one of each. they have a BYOB bar there so you can supply the alcohol if you wish. Everyone loved it!!
Whatever you do, you husband will be happy with the efforts on his behalf.
C.W. answers from Chicago on October 02, 2008
Hey there, when you say $1000 to rent, do you mean just a rental fee? Because with 75 people, that works out to be $13 a head (of course, not everyone might come...) but if that's a general per-person price for a nice party, that actually does not sound so bad...unless food/drinks is additional, then, yes, I can see how it would add up!...but imagine doing a party in your home - it would certainly wind up adding up to something similar per person!
Firehouse Grill has a large space above their restaurant they rent out for parties. Its nice up there, and its a perfect "guy" atmosphere. Carmen's pizza *used* to have a party space, but I don't believe they do anymore. Try Giordano's pizza -they often advertise a party special (its like $8/pp for pizza, salad, soda...add on your pitchers of beer/wine and that's a party!) Bravo is a new Italian place going in where Wolfgang Puck's used to be by movie theater - not sure if they are open yet or not, but it would be a great way to negotiate a deal (like, "you want to make a good impression on your new neighbors?....I'm bringing 75 new potential customers...") Bravo also has a location in The Glen in Glenview, so you could check it out there first. Speaking of Italian, if you want to head west to Skokie, Maggiano's in Old Orchard can accomodate large parties - parking might be better than most anywhere in Evanston anyway! Finally, Prairie Moon has a back room party space to rent out as well...good luck!
H.R. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
Is there anyone with whom you could combine the party? When my husband turned 30 awhile back a friend & I combined forces to throw a great party for both of our husbands - their birthdays were a few months apart, so we chose a date in-between. This worked out great, even more people ended up coming with combined lists, and we were able to have a great event at a west side blues club and I ended up spending even less money than originally planned since our costs didn't necessarily double.
Hmmmm, actually that's an idea for you too even if you have the party just for your hubby. A lot of small music venues and clubs will let you have space in the room (although not private) and won't charge you for a room fee, but will either charge cover or request a certain amount of drinks/food to be purchased. Not too familiar with Evanston, but I'm sure there are places nearby that are for a more mature crowd and would be entertaining.
I love to plan parties and actually run a business for event invitations, so if you want any more ideas or resources, please feel free to e-mail me at ____@____.com luck!