Catering By Michaels
April 3, 2018

Unique Chicagoland Event Venues

April 3, 2018

Unique Chicagoland Event Venues

Catering By Michaels

The Windy City is full of opportunities to set your wedding, reception, corporate event, fundraiser, gala dinner, silent auction, fashion show or other special event apart.

The variety of unique venues that work with Catering by Michaels are bound to be able to provide the exact atmosphere, mood, and moments you want to capture at your next big event.

Embrace the Outdoors

Opened in March 2001, Independence Grove is a 1,100-acre preserve and recreational area in Libertyville, Illinois.

Prepared to host events throughout the year, Independence Grove offers a variety of venues among the sprawling fields and forested areas:

  • The Native Garden, complete with a waterfall, wildflowers, and greenery.
  • The Beach, which can be booked from June to Labor Day.
  • The rustic Audubon Hall, built from cedar, stone, and glass, complete with a fireplace, built-in bar and panoramic view of the lake.

And, there are a number of additional options—both indoor and outdoor—that celebrate the beauty of the preserve!

Independence Grove Audobon HallIndependence Grove Beach Wedding Melissa Marie PhotographyIndependence Grove Wedding Native Garden

Between a Book’s Covers

When most people think of the Chicago Public Library, they do not think “event venue.” However, the Harold Washington Library Center offers a number of unique settings for your next event.

On the ninth floor, there is the spacious atrium of the Winter Gardenthe architectural centerpiece of the Harold Washington Library Center. With marble floors and a terrazzo, this location can offer seating for up to 400 people.

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Catering By Michaels
February 5, 2018

Chicago Venues We Love: Loft 21

February 5, 2018

Chicago Venues We Love: Loft 21

Catering By Michaels

We’re lucky to have so many amazing venues in our network, giving you direct access to a variety of unique backdrops to complement any type of event.

As part of our ongoing “Chicago Venues We Love” blog series, we recently spoke to Jazmine Gonzalez, Owner and President of Loft 21, to get the lowdown on Chicago’s newest and most awe-inspiring event space that can be transformed time and time again.

loft 21 Chicago event venue

What kinds of events typically take place at your venue?

We have seen clients use Loft 21 for many different events this first year. From mitzvahs and weddings, to corporate and charity galas. We have even done baby showers, 1st birthdays and 50th birthdays. It is incredible seeing how each client transforms the space to fit their vision.

loft 21 Chicago quinceanera

loft 21 Chicago wedding

What are your favorite types of events to host at Loft 21?

My personal favorite is an event where the client comes in excited to be creative. There are so many amenities with Loft 21 — from the divisible space, tables & chairs and my favorite feature, the technology. It really allows the client to put their personal stamp on their event.

loft 21

What are your favorite features of the space?

We have built the 31,000 sq ft venue to be an event space with a distinct blend of industrial and ultra-modern design. With state-of-the-art sound, lighting, 11 giant screens, and 15 mechanical walls, a client can truly transform the space to be personalized every time. There are so many amenities including; tables, ghost chairs, linens, lounge furniture and more. We have a VIP suites, 4 outdoor terraces, private parking and are surrounded by a nature preserve and trails. With 4 trap doors in the ceiling, guests are in awe when aerialists come down to serve drinks and sweets. Truly a dream venue allowing the client to design their event to fit their style.

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I feel like we say this every year, but 2017 truly was one for the books. Once again, we found ourselves involved with a number of innovative events that pushed us to be more creative than ever. But no challenge is too great for our team! We relish in the opportunity to design and cater unique events that our clients and their guests will be talking about for years to come.

To get a taste of what we were up to in 2017, here are 7 events that truly defined the year:

  1. ILEA Chicago Master’s Dinner
    ILEA is the International Live Events Association. During their signature Masters Dinner, we take the opportunity to showcase our creativity through brand new plated menu items. With plenty of industry peers in attendance, the pressure is on to go above and beyond! 

Beef Tartare Setup at ILIA Master's Dinner

For this event, the first course, main course, and dessert were all new items. Pictured above, a special set up for Beef Tartare. Below, a Plated Heirloom Root Vegetable Salad.

Heirloom Root Vegetable Salad ILEA Master's Dinner

Linens: BBJ Linen | Decor: HMR Designs | Venue: Chez Chicago

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In the case of Chris and Daniella, it was their professional involvements that brought them together. After quitting her job at a rival company, Daniella became a client of Chris’, and a networking event turned into love at first sight. From there, they became coworkers, friends, and the rest is history. 

Since both Chris and Daniella have connections in the hospitality industry, they were extremely easy to work with, and had an intimate knowledge of the wedding planning process. This helped make the process so much more fun! We worked closely to find the perfect venue to fit the romantic, city vibe they were looking for, and eventually settled on Harold Washington Library.

To complement the urban feel of their wedding, they wanted to serve a menu that was delicious, fun, and a bit different than what guests might expect. Since the couple love Gene & Jude’s hotdogs, we brought them in for a surprise late night snack, which was a huge hit! And if one Chicago favorite wasn’t enough, Chris & Daniella followed the theme of their wedding through to the guest favors and included Garrett’s popcorn (yum!). Needless to say, the wedding was a Chicago foodie’s dream and we had a blast putting it all together!

Photographer Jill Tiongco matched the vibe of the wedding seamlessly and captured these magical images of the day:

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Catering By Michaels
February 14, 2017

Ellyn + Carlo at Independence Grove

February 14, 2017

Ellyn + Carlo at Independence Grove

Catering By Michaels

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to honor and show appreciation for all loving relationships — whether they’re romantic partnerships, friendships, or family bonds. As a full service caterer, we have the amazing opportunity to be a part of so many special moments and celebrations in our client’s lives. 

On this very romantic day, we wanted to share the union of a very special couple, Ellyn + Carlo, and their gorgeous wedding at Independence Grove that was featured on David Lai Weddings blog.  

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