With the holidays rolling around, one of the things I like to do is get together with friends. And while I like to host on occasion, it becomes tricky because I have more friends than I have space for. What to do?
One could go the restaurant route but what if I told you that you could go somewhere that is essentially like an extension of your living room with no clean up required? In comes Birch Road Cellar. A women-owned neighborhood clubhouse, Birch Road Cellar is a place where members and their guests can gather, connect, and work with no pressure. Founders Kim Bosse and Sharon Provins had a goal of creating a space built on an appreciation for the little things that make life great; conversation, good people, great food, and exciting drinks.
I got to explore the Lincoln Park location with a tour given by Kim Bosse as she explained the concept behind Birch Road that I resonated with. People sometimes want a place to hang out or gather without going to a bar, too loud a place, or a crowded location with nowhere to sit. Birch Road is a space where people can meet, relax, bring takeout, and drink what you want. The first place we got to view was the Cellar. Members are assigned a locker in this temperature controlled room where they store their spirits and desired drinks. However, glassware, mixers, and even shakers are not necessary. As we moved to the main area, you can see Birch Road’s extended bar area that is open for member use. It is stocked with whatever you can think of to be your own bartender or mixologist for your drinks, coffee, tea, and if you choose to bring your own food in, silverware.
There are a couple of tables available or you can choose to move into the main large space where you will find couches, and lounge chairs. It truly did feel as if you were in sitting and conversing in a friend’s living room or rec room and you can definitely sense the welcoming atmosphere. Beyond this space there is also a dining room that seats up to 14 people. Perfect for entertaining if, like me, you don’t have a big enough space for everyone to sit or want to skip the restaurant reservations and host a potluck as Kim mentions that a Friendsgiving was recently held in the room.
Another perk for members are events hosted just for them. On this particular night, Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar was there, offering Thanksgiving wine pairings with owner, sommelier and educator Lindsey Anderson. It was great to talk with Lindsey as she went over details and tidbits of each wine accompanied by small bites from Uvae. Now I know exactly which wine to grab for everyone to enjoy without just going off the label design for my upcoming holiday family events.
Having an opportunity to chat with one the newer members of the club, they said they liked the space; having discovered it during Open House Chicago, along with the opportunity to meet other members and bring friends to enjoy it. I would also say that if you are looking for a place that is laid-back, friendly, and inviting for a meet up and gather with your friends, check out this fantastic space and go for a membership. I know I will. Membership options do vary, depending on what city you are in, however all club memberships start at $105/month and have a one-time $60 enrollment fee. For more information and locations, visit the Birch Road Cellar website.