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Best Local: Celebrate National Craft Month in Chicago and the Suburbs

Get Crafty in March near Our Corporate Housing Locations

Courtesy of Bottles and Bottega

Courtesy of Bottles and Bottega

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty—it’s National Craft Month! No matter your method, use March to show your artsy side. There are plenty of Best Local spots near our corporate housing locations in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs to let your creativity shine.

Courtesy of Bottle and Bottega

Courtesy of Bottle and Bottega

Best Local Bottle and Bottega (498 Crescent Blvd) in Glen Ellyn is a great party place for crafters. You can sip on wine and try your hand at painting here—perfect for an artsy night with your pals. Make crafts, and even some new friends! An 8-minute drive from City View at the Highlands in Lombard!

Courtesy of Chicago Jewelry School

Courtesy of Chicago Jewelry School

Jump into the gem game with a jewelry making class! Sign up for one of the many artful classes at Best Local Chicago Jewelry and Lapidary Art School (231 N Milwaukee) in Wheeling. The classes at this spot run the gamut—metal-making, gem carving, beading, chainmaille, mixed media and more. A 3-minute drive from Riverwalk Place in Buffalo Grove!

Courtesy of Yarn Places

Courtesy of Yarn Places

Wear your art on your sleeve! Best Local Sister Arts Studio (721 W Wrightwood Ave.) in Lincoln Park specializes in wearable creations, like crochet- and knit-wear. Take a class, book an event, or just get a creative kit from this cozy craft spot, known as the Chicago original “craft café.” A 12-minute ride on the 22 or 36 bus from Belden Stratford in Lincoln Park!

Best Local: Where to Go Near Central Station in Evanston

Check Out the Best Local Spots Near Our New Corporate Housing Location

central station CSN evanston

Just north of Chicago lies Evanston, home to the new Corporate Suites Network location, Central Station (1720 Central St.). Evanston strikes a balance between a lively city vibe and hometown feel. If you’re staying with us at Central Station, check out some of the stellar Best Local spots in this Chicagoland area neighborhood.

Courtesy of Quince at the Homestead

Courtesy of Quince at the Homestead

Enjoy fine dining at Quince at the Homestead (1625 Hinman Ave.) in Evanston. This Best Local spot serves “bold, globally infused cuisine inspired by the best of each season.” The atmosphere at this upscale spot is down-to-earth, and the menu—which includes oxtail, wild boar, foie gras and more—is world-class. Just 1.6 miles from Central Station!

Courtesy of Corner of the Cafe

Courtesy of Corner of the Cafe

Kick your feet up with a steamy latte at Best Local Unicorn Café (1723 Sherman Ave.). This relaxing coffee shop serves Alterra coffee, a wide range of loose leaf teas, and housemade pastries, paninis and soups. Quick tip: Bring some dough—this cozy spot is cash only. Just 1.3 miles away!

Courtesy of The Rhythm Room

Courtesy of The Rhythm Room

Enjoy a classy night out at Best Local The Rhythm Room (1715 Maple Ave.). Perfect for a low-key night out, The Rhythm Room is Evanston’s go-to lounge for live jazz and cocktails. Grab a bite to eat or stop in for a drink before enjoying music or a movie—this late-night spot is located inside the Century Evanston 12 movie theater. Only 1.2 miles away!

Best Local: St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago and Suburbs 2014

Check out the Best Local Spots in Chicago and the Suburbs Doing St. Paddy’s Day Right

Courtesy of MyHeritage.com

Courtesy of MyHeritage.com

It’s time again to chow corned beef sandwiches on rye bread and guzzle green beer—St. Patrick’s Day is here! Whether your roots are in Ireland or not, March 17 is the day to don your green apparel and let loose. These Best Local spots and events in Chicago and the suburbs will fill your holiday with the luck o’ the Irish.

Courtesy of About.com

Courtesy of About.com

Head out to the Michigan Ave. bridge for the traditional dyeing of the Chicago River! On March 15, trek to the bridge at 10am to witness the river run green with St. Pat’s pride. Beware: The crowd will be dense for this beloved annual affair. A 5-minute walk from Columbus Plaza in Streeterville!

Courtesy of Getaway Hostel

Courtesy of Getaway Hostel

After the river goes green, stick around downtown for the kickoff of the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade (along Columbus Dr., beginning at Balbo)! Another beloved downtown Chicago event, you’ll see all kinds of entertainment along the parade route, including Irish dancers, marching bands, musical acts, local groups, floats and more. A 16-minute ride on the 6 bus from Columbus Plaza!

Courtesy of Rockit Bar & Grill

Courtesy of Rockit Bar & Grill

Rather celebrate with food? Grab festive fare at Best Local Rockit Bar and Grill (22 W Hubbard St.) on March 15-16 from 8am-3pm. The holiday special is the St. Pat’s burger, which is a black Angus patty, corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on a pretzel bun. Try it with one of several drink specials too. A 4-minute walk from 400 N LaSalle in River North!

Courtesy of Village Tavern

Courtesy of Village Tavern

For a suburban celebration, head to Best Local Village Tavern (901 W Wise Rd.) for what’s known as the biggest bash in the Chicago suburbs for St. Patrick’s Day. This family-friendly affair begins at 10am on Monday, March 17 and includes live entertainment like DJs, karaoke, bagpipers and more. The authentic Irish food and drink will be plentiful, as will fun raffles and giveaways. An 11-minute drive from Park Meadows in Schaumburg!

CHPA Annual Conference 2014

Corporate Suites Network Team Members Attend the CHPA Conference in New Orleans

The Algiers_Canal ST Ferry

We don’t like parting ways with our beloved city often, but when we do, it’s to learn how to better serve our corporate housing clients. A few of our team members took a trip to lively New Orleans to join nearly 500 corporate housing professionals at the CHPA Annual Conference 2014, Feb. 24-26.

Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

 

nola car

Nola

We’ve witnessed the growth of this event every year, and have happily participated. This conference brings together public housing providers and vendors from around the country to discuss industry trends, hear keynote speakers, attend educational seminars and more. One of our favorite parts of the trip was meeting the people we deal with in other areas of the country, and putting faces to their names. We also enjoyed this year’s notably beautiful venue, The Roosevelt New Orleans.

Nola Bourbon

Besides the conference itself, we also took the opportunity to experience New Orleans. Most of all, we enjoyed the energy of Bourbon Street and the parades—it was a lucky coincidence that the conference fell around Mardi Gras! We immersed ourselves in the local culture by eating sugary beignets at the world-famous Cafe Du Monde, and enjoying the streetside entertainment throughout the city. But after all was said and done down south, we were glad to return to our own beautiful home city, Chicago.

nola 2

nola cafe

Best Local: Celebrate Mardi Gras 2014 in Chicago

Indulge on Fat Tuesday at Best Local Spots in Chicago and the Suburbs

Courtesy of Bunny Cooks

Courtesy of Bunny Cooks

Get gluttonous, and have no shame—Fat Tuesday is a holiday made for indulgent celebration. Just grab a paczki, the Polish jelly doughnut-like pastry synonymous with Fat Tuesday, and you’re ready for Mardi Gras. Check out the Best Local spots near our corporate apartment locations in Chicago and the suburbs to go big for Mardi Gras 2014.

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

There’s no better suburban spot for paczkis than Best Local Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery (5126 Main St.) in Downers Grove. The decadent treats at this little bakery sell out fast, so place an order today, Feb. 27, the last day to order! One Yelp reviewer said she died and went to paczki heaven. Don’t miss out. A 7-minute drive from City View at the Highlands in Lombard!

Courtesy of Blluegrass Grill

Courtesy of Blluegrass Grill

Get your southern-style fix at Best Local Blue Grass Grill (1636 Old Deerfield Rd.) in Highland Park. Eat Cajun and Creole food here just like they do in the home of Mardi Gras, New Orleans. There’s a great variety of seafood specials, and the Mardi Gras special takes it to the next level. This offering includes tuna tartar, seasoned alligator, escargot, an oyster platter, crawfish etouffee and more. An 11-minute drive from Riverwalk Place in Buffalo Grove!

Courtesy of Urban Spoon

Courtesy of Urban Spoon

President Obama gave Best Local Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop (825 Church St.) in Evanston his approval during his appearance on “Check, Please!” This spot has all the southern-style starters and entrees you could want: catfish strips, crawfish and corn fritters, gumbo, po’boy sandwiches, shrimp, oysters and more, all for very reasonable prices. A 27-minute ride on the Metra train from Presidential Towers in the West Loop!

Best Local: Where to go in Rogers Park near Morgan at Loyola Station

Explore the Neighborhood Surrounding our Corporate Apartment Location in Rogers Park

Courtesy of Rent Cafe

Courtesy of Rent Cafe

Rogers Park isn’t the fast-paced, buzzing Chicago Loop. But, it does have the Best Local spots to make it an exciting destination all its own. Situated on the northern borders of the city, Rogers Park is home to our beautiful corporate apartment location Morgan at Loyola Station. Step outside the cozy confines of your temporary housing and experience what the area has to offer.

Courtesy of WBEZ

Courtesy of WBEZ

Plan your weekend around the happenings at Best Local Mayne Stage (1328 W Morse). You can find music and theater at this venue, including up-and-coming local talent. This place showcases talent to suit every taste: jazz, rock, comedy, drama, dance nights, and more. Feel free to bring your appetite to the show too—Mayne Stage has a pub attached. Just a 14-minute walk from the Morgan!

Courtesy of LTH Forum

Courtesy of LTH Forum

For an exotic culinary treat, head to Best Local Taste of Peru (6545 N Clark). You’ll dine on authentic Peruvian fare at this family-owned and -operated restaurant. The press-worthy dishes here are all seafood, like the ceviche, paella, lobster, shrimp cocktail and more. For a tasty adventure, try the yucca a la huancaina, which is fried yuca under a fresh cheese sauce. Just a 13-minute walk from Morgan!

Courtesy of Spoon University

Courtesy of Spoon University

Kick your feet up for a quiet afternoon in Best Local Sol Café (1615 W Howard). Grab a cup of quality coffee (Sol brews Bow Truss Coffee Roasters, Passion House coffee and more) and a Glazed and Infused doughnut or other baked good from Southport Grocery and Café or Bennison’s Bakery. This spot also hosts open mic nights, and serves as a venue for private events and gallery for local artists. Just a 6-minute ride on the red line el from Morgan!

Best Local: Second Annual Poutine Fest

Indulge in Varieties of Poutine at Best Local Haymarket Brewery on Sunday, Feb. 23

Courtesy of labanquise

Courtesy of labanquise

If you’re a comfort food junkie, you’ve had poutine. Poutine, common in Canada, is a French fries dish topped with a gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. Comfort food lovers rejoice—Chicago‘s second annual Poutine Fest is here! Best Local Haymarket Brewery (737 W Randolph St.) in the West Loop is hosting the indulgent festival on Sunday, February 23, 2014.

Courtesy of Tripadvisor

Courtesy of Tripadvisor

Fest attendees will sample poutine dishes from participating restaurants, and one will be crowned “King of Poutine” based on attendee votes. The Best Local spots participating in Poutine Fest include Haymarket Brewery, The Gage, The Barrelhouse FlatSunday Dinner, Red Door, The Bristol, Troquet, Le Bouchon, Green Door Tavern and Atlas Brewing Company. Look out for The Gage, 2013’s Poutine Fest champion.

Courtesy of Chicago Serious Eats

Courtesy of Chicago Serious Eats

The fest has two sessions—12-2pm and 4-6pm—and two ticket options. Grab a VIP ticket for $85 or general admission for $70. VIPs get three drink tickets, a drink from Buffalo Trace, ten poutine tickets, an hour of early admission and a Poutine Fest souvenir bag and pint glass. General admission ticket-holders get two drink tickets, a drink from Buffalo Trace, ten poutine tickets and a Poutine Fest souvenir bag. Ticket sales will benefit Growing Home, a nonprofit that aims to empower the community through urban farming.

 Courtesy of Looky Tasty

Courtesy of Looky Tasty

Check out the one-day-only event, just a 9-minute walk from Presidential Towers in the West Loop!

Best Local: National Fondue Month 2014

Celebrate This February Holiday at Best Local Spots in Chicago and the Suburbs

Courtesy of Recipes Wiki

Courtesy of Recipes Wiki

There’s nothing like gooey goodness to melt away winter blues. Whether you’re into bread, meat, or dessert, there’s a way for you celebrate National Fondue Month during February in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. Check out these drool-worthy Best Local spots to get a fresh fondue fix.

Courtesy of Geja's Cafe

Courtesy of Geja’s Cafe

The romantic Best Local Geja’s Café (340 W Armitage) is Lincoln Park’s perfect date-night spot. This rustic, dimly lit restaurant offers generous portions on its large variety of fondue choices. Try the Premiere Fondue Dinner for Valentine’s Day: four courses that include cheese fondue, Geja’s salad, assorted fresh veggies, eight dipping sauces and flaming chocolate fondue. A 10-minute walk from Belden Stratford!

Courtesy of Truthsc

Courtesy of Truthsc

The non-traditional fondue offering at Best Local La Madia (59 W Grand Ave.) will kick your meal off right: The pizza fondue is basically a pizza dough ball you can dip in marinara or pesto. This Italian restaurant also offers spinach and taleggio fondue with white truffle oil. A 6-minute walk from 400 N LaSalle in River North!

Courtesy of Graham's 318 Coffeehouse

Courtesy of Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse

For a super sweet afternoon, head to Best Local Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse (318 N 3rd St.) in Geneva. The chocolate fondue is the specialty at this quaint and casual café. All the pastries and gelato are made in-house here, including the marshmallows, pound cake and angel food, ready to dip in Graham’s signature chocolate fondue. A 9-minute drive from AMLI St. Charles, and 22-minute drive from Lincoln at the Parks in Naperville!

Best Local: Romantic Valentine’s Day Spots 2014

Feel the Love at Best Local Spots in Chicago and the Suburbs this Feb. 14

Courtesy of Refinery 29

Courtesy of Refinery 29

Rev up the romance—Valentine’s Day is coming. There are plenty of reasons to love the holiday, one being the Best Local spots in Chicago and the suburbs with dreamy V-Day vibes. Step outside your corporate apartment and indulge on Feb. 14.

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

The romantic Best Local La Sorella de Francesca (18 W Jefferson) in Naperville will be a hot suburban Valentine’s Day destination. This Italian restaurant has fine cuisine, like risotto alla Contadina and rigatoni con melanzane, and a cozy environment. Don’t forget to browse the extensive wine list! An 8-minute drive from Lincoln at the Parks.

Courtesy of Hokkaido Sushi Hibachi Steak House & Lounge

Courtesy of Hokkaido Sushi Hibachi Steak House & Lounge

Best Local Hokkaido Sushi Hibachi Steak House & Lounge (17W705 Roosevelt Rd. Ste. B) in Oakbrook Terrace is hooking guests up with special offerings Feb. 13-15. The Valentine’s Day dinner for two is $55, and includes your choice of ginger salad, garlic shrimp, salmon ceviche, carnival roll and more. All meals are prepared fresh in front of you, if you sit at a hibachi table! An 8-minute drive from City View at the Highlands in Lombard!

Courtesy of Metromix

Courtesy of Metromix

Named the coziest restaurant in the city by Chicago Magazine in 2011, Best Local Bistro Voltaire (226 W Chicago Ave.) is the perfect date spot for V-Day. The prix fixeValentine’s Day menu is $59 per person, and includes gourmet options like lobster bisque, fillet mignon and crème brulee. This is a small, upscale spot, but it’s worth the wait and the price for a romantic Valentine’s Day date night. A 12-minute walk from Kingsbury Plaza in River North!

Best Local: Super Bowl 2014 Activities

Plan a Football-filled Day at Best Local Spots in Chicago and the Suburbs

Courtesy of Quint Events

Courtesy of Quint Events

The biggest day in snacking, drinking, TV-watching, and, of course, football is coming—the Super Bowl. Root on your favorite team during the big game at one of these Best Local spots in Chicago and the suburbs near our corporate apartment locations. What goes better with sporting events than good company and great eats?

Courtesy of Howells and Hood

Courtesy of Howells and Hood

Head to Best Local Howells and Hood (435 N Michigan Ave.) to enjoy a huge beer selection and more during the Super Bowl. On Feb. 2 starting at 4pm, this downtown hotspot will offer specials on its 8-layer dip and jerk smoked chicken. Get there at 3pm to get a taste of the first annual Super Bowl Chili Cook-off! A 7-minute walk from Columbus Plaza in Streeterville.

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

The huge 110” projection screen at Best Local Wickets Bar and Grill (601 N Martingale Rd. Ste. 100) in Schaumburg is the perfect medium for Super Bowl-watching. The traditional pub food will keep you satisfied through all four quarters: Enjoy pulled pork sliders, fish tacos, spinach samosas, fried calamari and more. Quench your thirst with the extensive imported and domestic beers, whiskey and wines too. A 4-minute drive from Park Meadows!

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Want to stay in our corporate apartment to watch the game instead? We don’t blame you. Order pizza from Best Local Brickswood Fired Pizza & Café (132 W St. Charles Rd.) in Lombard and kick back. Get a pie with BBQ sauce or pesto with a variety of meats, including bacon, capicola, meatballs and more. Top it off with veggies like artichoke hearts and portobella mushrooms too. An 11-minute drive from City View at the Highlands in Lombard!

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