Where can we our host our event in Chicago and San Fran?
January 14, 2013 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm frantically looking for a certain type of event venue in San Fran and Chicago. Please help! (Snowflakey details inside.)

I'm helping organize a series of national events, and Chicago and San Fran are weirdly the places that we're having trouble. My production team is on me to nail something down this week, but I'm basically at the end of my contacts.

The deets of the event:

- It's a national series of advocacy and community-building events in eight cities. We're gathering a lot of people from different organizations and will probably get good press, so potentially good exposure for the venue.

- The events are in mid-March. We're expecting between 150-300 people.

- The ideal venue would have a stage and a bar. A theater would work but we'd really prefer something more like a cabaret space, or a rock venue, or a big bar or gallery. In LA, we're talking to the King King. In NYC, Le Poisson Rouge. We also looked at the Public Assembly.

- Our budget is limited. The best case would be a deal wherein we get the space in exchange for the bar and a nominal door fee ($5-10), but we can also rally money for the perfect space.

Do you have ANY ideas? Really, anything, even something non-traditional. I'm happy to follow up with anyone or provide more details through Me-mail.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, guys.
posted by vecchio to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In Chicago, did you look into the Mayne Stage, Bottom Lounge, or City Winery? All are sizable venues with bars.
posted by evisceratordeath at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2013

Hideout Chicago should work. They often host fundraisers and other types of events.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:12 PM on January 14, 2013

...or not. I guess their capacity is 150. I'll keep thinking.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2013

indieonthemove.com has info on venues for booking bands, including capacity. So, in Chicago:

Quenchers, 200. Stage in separate room, tons of great beers. I've been to a Green Party fundraiser there.

Schuba's, 325. Stage in separate room.

Martyr's, 270.

The Mexican Museum of Fine Art has a space to rent with a stage, but you'd have to hire a caterer for the booze.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2013

If you need venue information for specific locals, check wedding sites. The Knot, which I hate, lets you sort by city and venue capacity. Wedding boards will also have suggestions but a 400+ requirement is not that typical these days.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2013

Would either the Women's Building or Fort Mason work for you in SF? Sorry can't link on my phone at the moment, but both are easily found on the web.
posted by jasper411 at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, yes, thank you these are great. Please keep them coming!
posted by vecchio at 5:17 PM on January 14, 2013

San Francisco: DNA Lounge or The Rickshaw Stop,
posted by bottlebrushtree at 5:31 PM on January 14, 2013

Also in San Francisco you might try the Make-Out Room, El Rio or the Knockout. These are all bars with stages.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:51 PM on January 14, 2013

Public Works in SF
posted by kelseyq at 5:51 PM on January 14, 2013

Verdi Club is lesser known (mostly does private events) but meets all of your criteria. Neither the Make-Out Room or the Knockout could hold anywhere near 150 and El Rio could barely manage that outside. This list doesn't look like it's been updated in a bit but might still be useful.
posted by kelseyq at 5:55 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lincoln Hall is a nice space in Chicago and would hold you guys. The Dank Haus would work as well. I'm not sure how open these venues are to negotiating pricing.
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:15 PM on January 14, 2013

There are some good suggestions for San Francisco above, especially the Verdi Club, but just a tip: when negotiating, you may want to refrain from referring to the City as "San Fran".
posted by trip and a half at 7:07 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Another place to consider in San Francisco: Cafe du Nord/Swedish American Hall.
posted by trip and a half at 7:24 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

One last thought: Slim's or the Great American Music Hall if you're lucky and move fast, maybe. They tend to book well in advance.
posted by trip and a half at 7:36 PM on January 14, 2013

Bimbo's in SF?
posted by pompelmo at 8:16 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ooh, Bimbo's is a great idea! But it also is probably already booked through March. Worth checking, though.
posted by trip and a half at 8:20 PM on January 14, 2013

Chicago Spaces might be another good place to search for venues, if none of the earlier suggestions pan out.
posted by jdherg at 11:53 AM on January 17, 2013

Response by poster: Hey all, I just wanted to say thanks for all the help. We pinned down venues in both cities! I seriously appreciate the efforts.
posted by vecchio at 9:04 AM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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