Birch Road Cellar: Your Secret Space for Entertaining in Chicago

Birch Road Cellar: Your Secret Space for Entertaining in Chicago


Chicago continues to amaze when it exposes cool new spots to enjoy the good life. Lovers of nice drinks and good conversation will rejoice at the addition of Birch Road Cellar to the neighborhood. Tucked away in a secret location in Lincoln Park, Birch Road Cellar is a haven for in-the-know Chicagoans to open a great bottle of wine, bring a few friends and entertain in a unique space. The hardest part about getting in? Finding out that Birch Road Cellar exists. Now you – lucky Chicagoan, are “in-the-know.”


Founded by Chicago native Sharon Provins and her life-long friend Kim Bosse, Birch Road Cellar is a membership-based BYOB venue designed as a place for entertaining that’s classy and casual at the same time. The club is named after the road Sharon and Kim grew up on, and brings in the style and experience they’ve collected living on both coasts of the country. Tired of the rowdy bar scene and reluctant to join the swanky social club scene, Sharon and Kim identified a need for an approachable space for Chicagoans to entertain.


Chicago or suburban residents, or even frequent Chicago travelers, can become members of Birch Road Cellar as an extension of their own home. Designed to look like a cross between a nice home and a bar, the space is adorned with dark wood, ceiling beams and mini living rooms that beckon interesting conversations. The space was previously a photography studio, and the décor pays homage with displayed artwork, exposed brick and a barn door crafted by a local woodworker. “Imagine if a friend gave you the keys to their gorgeous home designed for entertaining,” says Sharon, “so you can invite a few friends over, open your favorite bottle of wine, and enjoy conversation that you wouldn’t be able to in a loud bar.”


What’s most unique about Birch Road Cellar is its clandestine location and unassuming entryway. To provide access to members only, who are allowed to bring two or three guests at a time, the door is secured with a fingerprint reader. It gives members spy-movie appeal while eliminating the complications of sharing keys or key codes. Upon entering, the tasting room features a 20 foot custom crafted wood bar and seating for 18. Because Birch Road Cellar is BYOB, members bring in their own alcohol of choice to enjoy. Sharon smiles as she explains that “members enjoy playing bartender in a way they often can’t do in their own homes. They’ll stand behind the bar and serve drinks to their guests.”


Fitting the cellar name, the space offers a 57 degree temperature and 60-70% humidity controlled cellar in which members can cultivate their own private collection of favorite wines and spirits they prefer for themselves and their guests. No alcohol is provided or served by Birch Road Cellar itself. Members can bring in whatever food or drinks they’d like, and they are expected to leave the space as they found it. No full-time staff reside at Birch Road Cellar, so members are allowed to come and go as they please – each day of the year from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.


While members typically bring just a few guests, there is also a large private dining room that can be closed off to seat up to 14 guests. This is a great space to host a dinner party if you can’t accommodate this many people in your own home, and the dining room is reserved at no charge to members on a first-come, first-served basis. When asked how else members use the space, Sharon explains that “some bring dates here, some even come for a quiet place to study.” The number of people inside depends on the time of the week – for example, Saturday night might see more traffic than a Tuesday night. While some members keep to themselves and their guests, some love the social aspect and will mingle with other members. Birch Road Cellar even hosts events, and most recently brought in Chicago-based cocktail king Charles Joly to host a mixology class.


Intrigued by Birch Road Cellar? Those who appreciate a comfortable drinking scene without the attitude of the club and bar scene are encouraged to join and take advantage of the space as if it were their own home. Membership is $89 a month, for unlimited access, and there is no commitment to sign on for a certain number of months. While there isn’t any specific criteria to join, membership is only obtainable by an in-person appointment with the owners. Visit Birch Road Cellar’s website to request a tour and learn how you can make this secretive space yours.


{Image credit: Birch Road Cellar}


  • Nicole

    This is SO cool! I have never heard of this place before…

  • Hollie

    So intriguing … I’m going to have to check this place out!

  • Julia

    Great idea! Love this concept! What restaurant have you had the best drinks and cocktails? Remember to add it to your Besty List!