The Junior League of Chicago members are fortunate to have some amazing Members Like Me Group that allow their members to get out and explore the city, and meet other members that share common interests. I recently got on board with the members like me dine out group, headed by Fran Pukala. I highly recommend joining this group. Fran sets up small dining groups every month (typically 4-5 people) and this is a great way to not only try new restaurants that have been on your bucket list, but it allows you to actively meet and chat with other committee members.
Caroline Thompson(CT): Why did you start the MLM Dine Out group?
Fran Pukala (FP): I started the MLM group because I like to try new and unique restaurants and cuisines. I just hoped at least few other League members would enjoy the same. To date, our email list is at 106 members (active, associate and sustainer).
CT: How many restaurants have you organized since the beginning?
FT: We started the group in March 2015, we have been to 50 restaurants so far.
CT: How do you pick the restaurants?
FP: I pick the restaurants based on members feedback and requests. I always schedule the most requested restaurants first. Due to high demand, we had multiple reservations at both Bar Sienna and Girl and the Goat.
CT: What are you favorite places so far? (or favorite Chicago restaurants in general)
FP: My favorite brunch spot is Trenchmen and for dinner, I have really enjoyed Ruxbin, Masda and Momotaro.
CT: What if someone has dietary restrictions, can they still participate?
FP: We have a few people with dietary restrictions in the group, in my experience, I think a lot of consideration is put into the ordering and working out the check. Most reservations are for 4-5 people, it’s so easy to talk things out.
I hope you’ll participate in a MLM Dine Out soon, and if you already have, I hope you continue to do so! I know I personally really enjoyed the experience. We dined at Yusho, a Japanese Grill and Noodle restaurant in Logan Square. It was so quaint and the food was excellent. I would never have known about it if it hadn’t been for the dining group. It was also great to meet a couple of new members, and reconnect with some I already knew.
By: Caroline Thompson, Topics & Trends Co-chair 2015-2016