WICKER PARK — Holiday party season is approaching and there are two neighborhood celebrations set to take place inside The Robey, a boutique hotel in the Northwest Tower opening later this month after years of anticipation.
The Wicker Park Committee holiday party fundraiser is set for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, while the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce's holiday networking party is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Both parties will take place inside the second floor lounge of The Robey, 2018 W. North Ave. A rooftop bar and lounge, the "Up & Up" is not scheduled to open until this spring (but for when it does open, check out these amazing views captured over the weekend by photographer Raf Winterpacht).
Tickets to the Dec. 8 party are $10 for Wicker Park Committee members and $30 for nonmembers. Space is limited and buying tickets on the group's website is encouraged. Profits from ticket sales will go toward buying neighborhood signs that will promote Wicker Park as a historic neighborhood.
The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce's holiday party is free to chamber members and to others in the business community, but space is also limited.
"Come celebrate the winter holidays with us and have some complimentary drinks, food, network and enter in for a chance to take home our neighborhood decorated tree with gifts," the Chamber posted on its website. Reserve your ticket to the Dec. 14 party here.
At the Wicker Park Committee's party, raffle prizes from sponsoring businesses include Taxim, Bucktown Athletic Club, Go Grocer, Goddess and Grocer, Liquor Park, Candyality, HealthSource, Pint, Rapha, Trenchermen, La Colombe, Fonda Frontera, Asrai Garden, UnaMae's, Volumes BookCafe, Quimby's, Myopic Books, Taxim, Wicker Pet and more.
Money from the raffles will also be used on buying the signs, said Leah Root, a committee member.
"The Robey is the center of Wicker Park, and has an energy that embodies the new and innovative aspects of our community, while preserving the history and architecture of our past," Root said of the decision to host the party there.
Once enough money is raised, the two-sided metal signs will be installed on light poles between Division Street and The 606 and will feature a sketch of the Northwest Tower on one side, along with the dates the neighborhood was added to the National Historic Register (1979) and the Chicago Landmark District (1999).
The other side of the sign will feature a historic home.
Back in Nov. 2013, the members of the Wicker Park Committee enthusiastically approved the zoning needed to convert the office building and neighboring warehouse into two boutique hotels.
For several years there had been talk about a hotel coming to the corner, but lack of community support for previous plans and a downturn in the economy caused the tower to remain undeveloped.
The tower is so important to the fabric of the neighborhood, that the view from the top of it became the inspiration for T-shirts featuring an image by photographer Andrew Miller. Proceeds from sales of those those shirts, available at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., will also go to funding the sign campaign.
In June 2013, Miller, while on a tour of the then still office building, was looking out from the 10th floor when he captured a rainbow in the horizon.
Checkout photos snapped by another photographer, Raf Winterpacht, from the roof of the tower last Friday, below, or in the slideshow, above.
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