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Nobody’s Darling
Nobody's Darling owners Renauda Riddle and Angela Barnes, photo by Susanne Fairfax

LGBTQ+-owned Chicago businesses

Chicago is home to a wide variety of LGBTQ+-owned businesses that can help with planning your local meeting or event. Whether it’s a private dinner prepared by an award-winning chef or an evening of exciting entertainment, your attendees won’t forget their unique Chicago experience.

Private dining and catering

Monteverde chef/co-owner Sarah Grueneberg
Monteverde chef/co-owner Sarah Grueneberg, photo courtesy of Galdones Photography

Plan a dinner at Monteverde and savor dishes curated by chef/co-owner Sarah Grueneberg at this renowned Italian eatery in the West Loop. The James Beard Award-winning restaurant features a popular ham e burrata appetizer, handmade pasta, osso bucco, and seasonal pasta dishes like chicken and asparagus ravioli. Small groups can dine on the patio on warm evenings, ending the night with tiramisu or citrus-dark chocolate sorbet paired with a glass of port or pinot noir.


Executive chef and partner Andrew Zimmerman’s menu of global flavors with a contemporary American twist earned Michelin Bib Gourmand status for Proxi in the West Loop. The private dining room accommodates 14 people for a customized fine dining meal with entrees such as wood-grilled paneer tikka, braised black cod, smoked lamb chops, and Indonesian chili chicken. For informal gatherings, up to 20 people can gather in the comfortable lounge for drinks, snacks like burrata and steamed buns, and a station filled with chef-selected desserts.

Inquire about group menus at The Lunchroom at SPACE 519 in Streeterville, just off The Magnificent Mile. The 40-seat concept cafe expands in the summer with a 24-seat sidewalk space shaded by umbrellas and trees. A seasonal, vegetable-focused menu for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch features locally sourced ingredients. A sampling might include avocado toast, California kale salad, mahi-mahi tacos, and barbecue chicken flatbread. A full buyout can accommodate 150 people standing or 40 seated for banquets. Catering services are offered seven days a week.

For some of the best barbecue in Chicago, make a reservation for up to 100 guests at Lexington Betty Smokehouse in Pullman. Acclaimed pitmaster Dominique Leach and her wife, Tanisha Griffin Leach, serve a combination of meats like smoked chicken, pulled pork, juicy brisket, and Wagyu steak hot dogs. Complete your menu with soulful sides like collard greens, gouda mac ’n’ cheese, and candy yams. The banana pudding is a must-try dessert. Private catering options for groups of all sizes include Betty Boxes and the Betty Food Truck, which can roll right up to your event.

In the South Loop’s Printers Row, necessary & sufficient coffee® offers specialty coffees, teas, and a range of inventive lattes with ingredients like beet root, turmeric, lavender, and reishi mushrooms. Bites include avocado or chevre toast, bagels, quiche, and grab-and-go items like sandwiches and fresh salads. Book a buyout for 71 guests, or give the shop at least 48-hours notice and they’ll provide coffee, pastries, doughnuts, and empanadas for your event.


The classy, sassy Nobody’s Darling was opened in 2021 by owners Renauda Riddle and Angela Barnes who wanted to create an LGBTQ+-friendly space, especially for women. The Andersonville cocktail lounge was a 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program finalist. Creative cocktails have names inspired by famous women of color, including Ma Rainey (gin, basil, lemon), Bessie Smith (peach and orange vodka), and Nina Simone (mezcal, ginger, banana, and lime). For private events, opt for the menu featuring choices of three Darling cocktails, beer, and white and red wines. The VIP booth can accommodate 10 people.

Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club

Arrange dinner and a dazzling drag show at the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club in Northalsted. Order a la carte from the extensive food menu, or consider party packages that feature appetizers served family style, an entree, and martinis like the Lady Gaga and French. Your event can also include tableside entertainment by the Kit Kat Divas, either indoors or on the patio during summer.

The Cauldron
The Cauldron

Buy out The Cauldron in Wicker Park for 250 attendees, or reserve bar seating or tables in the former bank vault for smaller events. For a fun team building activity, book the 45-minute potion-making experience, where participants can wear a cloak and wield a working magic wand to conjure a cocktail. In addition to the wizardry, the fantasy-filled pub serves drinks, snacks, and a magically moody vibe.

Plan an evening at The Baton Show Lounge in Uptown, a 55-year entertainment tradition. Attendees will be awed by the high-caliber female impersonators featured in solo and group performances. The Show Lounge is open Friday through Sunday nights, but the venue also hosts private events in its Club Room, Dance Bar, The Patio, and The Patio Bar. In addition to drinks, the kitchen offers charcuterie plates, burgers, bar food, a Sunday brunch buffet, and more.


Yurts by Kehoe Designs
Yurts by Kehoe Designs

Enlist the expertise of Kehoe Designs in Little Itay/University Village to bring your meeting or event decor to the next level. The Geraghty, Kehoe’s state-of-the-art event venue in Pilsen, can accommodate 800 seated guests or 1,000 for a reception. Services include floral and plant displays, technical production assistance, activations for live and virtual events, and personalized hospitality design and installations.

Trust the eyes of the experts behind the camera lens at West Loop-based e3 Photography to bring a fresh perspective while documenting your event. They’ll capture images and video footage of attendees, exhibits, and your event’s most memorable moments. From every angle they’ll convey the personality of your brand, from products and corporate headshots to onstage speakers, breakout sessions, and receptions.

The mission of An Event Agency, PCXP is to create experiences that accentuate meeting planners’ visions for meetings, events, conferences, trade shows, and conventions. Among their many areas of expertise are sourcing venues, managing meetings, hosting networking and virtual events, event registration assistance, and offering team building incentives. As a bonus, the West Loop business offers eco-friendly services through suppliers and sustainable practices.

Explore our LGBTQ+ guide to Chicago.

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