Cathedral-Inspired Nightclub Lands in River North

By Jenny Berg June 17, 2008, 11:00 AM EDT


Photo: KryStyle Photography

This past weekend, Religion Nightclub opened on the third floor of River North's sprawling Club 720. Inspired by a cathedral, Religion is filled with churchly decorative touches like century-old stained-glass windows and a pulpit-style DJ booth. Divided into two levelsthe lower floor can accommodate 200 guests, while the upper level can comfortably hold 100the entire space was recently bought out by the National Black MBA Association.

On the first floor, which is presided over by the DJ booth, a spacious dance floor can be filled with highboys for a cocktail reception. Along the back wall, purple and black banquettes sit atop a raised platform and that can seat roughly 35 guests. At the foot of the staircase leading up to the second floor, a projection screen built into the venue's exposed brick wall measures about eight by 10 feet and allows for DVD hookup.

The upstairs loft area, called Altar, features a gold-painted bar, along with booth and banquette seating for 50. Black crystal chandeliers and wall sconces add a Gothic vibe.

Although the club doesn't typically offer food, private parties can elect to order catering from the Spread (another venue from the team that operates Religion). Prepared by chef Matt Hanck, who formerly cooked at the W Chicago City Center, menu options include Italian beef, buttermilk fried chicken, and an assortment of pastas.

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