Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Uptown Social Club To Open In UBB

There's more news on the banquet hall/special events facility in the lower level of the Uptown Broadway Building that we talked about last summer.

It's going to be called the Uptown Social Club, and is due to open early in 2013.  Apparently it's going to be available for rent by groups and organizations.  Pretty good idea, actually, when you think about it.  Aside from the conference room at the Bridgeview Bank Building, for small groups, and the Saddle & Cycle Club, for large gatherings, there really isn't anywhere in Uptown to hold group events.  We can easily envision this being the venue for wedding receptions, family reunions, and corporate meetings.  At 7200sf, it's a nice size and has no real competition in the area.

The group that will be running Uptown Social Club was looking for a Venue Director earlier this month.  We have no idea if the position has been filled, but if you're interested, you can take a look at the job description here.


  1. A banquet hall in a dark basement sounds like a terrible idea...especially in a building with deserted street level retail. Hopefully they got it for cheap.

  2. Alek, the street level has been "deserted" for all of three weeks. The other half of the street level space is rented.

    As for the lower level, marketed correctly, it can be awesome. Given the choice between going to a meeting at some cookie cutter banquet hall on Harlem Avenue, and going to one in what used to be an Uptown speakeasy, I can tell you -- without a doubt -- I'd choose the one with some history in a building on the National Register.

  3. Fair enough on the street level spaces...I still don't the one occupied space has much of a pedestrian presence and the other, Apartment Vigilantes, was kind of a joke.

    I think the space is a hard sell given the lack of established fashion/music/art scene in Uptown and will require some skill full marketing.

    Yes, It has more charm than a Harlem/Cumberland suburban transition zone cookie cutter space but it's not really competing with those. It's going to compete with many gallery/event spaces in Logan/Wicker/River North etc.

    I don't envy the venue manager who is tasked with booking this place but would love to be proven wrong. Again, it's possible they got a great deal and can gain a competitive edge on price.

    Something similar to Smart Bar that catered to more of an underground crowd would probably work as well.

    Either way, they're early adopters and should be applauded for taking a chance, sorry if my tone was harsh.

  4. Not at all, USH! Humongous parking lot, just north of the building. The original zoning request even included 14 dedicated spaces for the building in its proposal. I'm sure the parking lot would be happy to charge for parking on big event nights, just like it does for concerts.

  5. Plenty of event spaces in Chicago do fine without massive suburban style parking lots. I don't think it's much of an issue.

  6. This place could do ok.. especially with it being right off the Lawrence Red Line and a 36 bus stop on its door steps... but you have to have serious business that pays big bucks almost daily just to pay the rent.... unless Thadus Wong is giving this space away for free. It's a huge space!

  7. Love this thread. We are excited to be able to bring something new to Uptown. We have been working hard to make it a fantastic space with lots of appeal. Not only will we be booking the space but we'll producing a ton of art, music and community events for the public. Should you have any questions or suggestions feel free to reach out. We look forward to seeing you all at the open house. - @ShannonDowney of @PivotalChicago + @Uptown_Social