By Jenny Berg Posted January 30, 2014, 7:00 AM EST
Here's a look at the most anticipated Chicago restaurants, hotels, party rooms, corporate event venues, conference centers, and private rooms to open this year. These new and renovated Chicago venues can accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, meetings, business dinners, cocktail parties, conferences, weddings, and more.
1. The first-ever Virgin Hotel will open in Chicago sometime this summer. Details are scarce, but the property will likely have 250 guest rooms, a rooftop bar and lounge, and a spa. It will take over a 27-story Art Deco building in the Loop.
2. Soho House, a London-based chain of private members' clubs with hotel accommodations, is scheduled to open a Chicago outpost this summer. Set to take over a 1900s warehouse on Green Street, the property will have 35 guest rooms and amenities for business travelers such as free Wi-Fi; some of its spaces will also be available for private events. The venue will have a courtyard, an enclosed rooftop bar and kitchen with a 60-foot swimming pool on its deck, and three public eateries focusing on pizza, burgers, and chicken. The fifth floor will house a drawing room, a bar, and the Club Bar & House Kitchen Grill. On the ground floor, the public Cowshed Relax spa and salon will offer a retail area and five treatment rooms as well as mani-pedi chairs, a men's grooming area, and a blow-dry bar.
3. The Godfrey Hotel Chicago is scheduled to open in River North this February. The property has 221 rooms (all with free Wi-Fi), a fitness center, and a small spa. On the fourth floor, I|O Urban Roofscape offers 10,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor event space. It can host corporate meetings and dinners for 150 or receptions for 400.
4. Revel Events will open Revel Downtown in March. In a Daniel-Burnham-designed building, the venue has a 1920s façade, Tuscan arcading, and high ceilings. It comprises a 13,000-square-foot main floor and a 5,000-square-foot loft. The main floor will seat 400 or hold receptions for 850; the loft will accommodate seated dinners for 100 or receptions for 200.
5. Moonlight Studios will open in February. Formerly a factory, the West Loop space spans 15,000 square feet. The industrial-style venue will include a 6,000-square-foot studio, 4,000 square feet of gallery space, and a 900-sqaure-foot suite that can be used as a production office, a greenroom, or a bridal suite.
6. The Kinzie Hotel is slated to open in River North next month. Taking over the Amalfi Hotel, the 215-room property will have 1,500 square feet of meeting space. On the sixth floor, the Double Cross Lounge will host cocktail receptions for 50 or banquets for 40.
7. Tippling Hall, a new concept from Mercadito Hospitality, will open in River North this spring. Serving globally inspired comfort foods, the loft-style venue will have two main areas: a bar with a lounge and a dining room. Both spaces will be available for semiprivate events.
8. Kinmont, a new restaurant from Element Collective, opens this month. In the former Zealous space in River North, the 6,200-square-foot venue will host private events. It will be the first entirely sustainable seafood restaurant in Chicago. Overseen by chef Duncan Biddulph, the menu will include sustainably fished items from both coasts.
9. Grand Tour will open early this year in Ravenswood. With an international theme, the venue will seat 160 inside and 80 outdoors and offer eclectic menu items such as British meat pies and Chinese pig's head. Decked with reclaimed barn wood, bricks, and a mural of a world map, the venue will have a private dining room and a main stage for live entertainment.
10. Pearl Tavern opened in the Loop earlier this month. It hosts events for as many as 150 guests and has a private dining room; outdoor, riverside event space will open in time for summer. Inspired by the dining culture of the 1950s, the seafood restaurant and oyster bar is decked with 1930s-style wallpaper, mermaid-theme artwork, and brass and marble fixtures. The menu offers a rotating selection of crudo, oysters from both coasts, and entrées such as lobster rolls and grilled octopus.