Small Market Meetings

JUL 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 39 of 45

T w o B r o t h e r s R o u n d h o u s e A u r o r a Illinois Meeting Guide 38 Courtesy Prairie Street Brewing Co. Prairie Street Brewhouse overlooks the Mississippi riverfront in Rockford. But moving events into historic buildings, tropical gardens or even a working 160-year-old train station shifts expectations and gets attendees into a different place, both physically and mentally. The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rock Island, Illinois, was a storage warehouse and laundry facility for decades before it was returned to its brewery roots, and the Two Brothers Roundhouse, in a circular limestone building, welcomes private events as well as Amtrak passengers. Illinois has no shortage of unique venues, and these are some of the state's standouts. Two Brothers Roundhouse Aurora The last stop on the BNSF Metra line out of Chicago is the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora. The lime- stone facility was built in 1856 to service, store and turn around locomotives. Today, it houses Two Brothers Artisan Brewing, along with its restaurant and event spaces; but it's still a working station, and with exposed T here's nothing wrong with conference centers with air walls and smart boards; they get the job done — and do it well — when it comes to meetings. limestone walls and overhead iron beams, it was built to handle the traffic. "You can see the trains pulling in and out, but there's no shaking, no loud noises," said Lori Simonsen in ban- quet sales. The historic circular building surrounds a courtyard with a central gazebo where as many as 1,000 people enjoy live music during summer concerts and events. Although the gazebo is popular for wedding ceremo- nies, the courtyard can be tough for private events because it's open to the public. Inside, in addition to the restaurant, a cafe serves Two Brothers roasted coffee, and a lounge is being converted into a tasting room for spirits "because we're putting a distillery in there as well," Simonsen said. A curved, 8,900-square-foot ballroom has an exposed limestone wall and glass windows that overlook an adjoining private terrace. The Stout and Lager rooms can be used separately or combined for events of up to 130 people. The Tavern is a nightclub with a stage and By Rachel Carter Illinois After Hours

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