Element Collective Rolls Out the Red Carpet

In case the incessant and unavoidable hype hasn't made it blatantly obvious, the Academy Awards are coming up on March 2. Just because you surely didn't get an invite to the show or any of the adjacent parties doesn't mean you can't celebrate, right? Right. Element Collective brings a little bit of Hollywood pomp and circumstance to Chicago this year with dual Oscar parties at Nellcote and Old Town Social, complete with red carpets, photographers, and movie-themed cocktails and other specials. You'll feel like Hollywood royalty, minus the possibility of actually winning any film award. But hey, there's always next year.

Oscar red carpet at Nellcote
(Last year's "orange carpet" at Nellcote. Photo: Nellcote)


Come March 2, Nellcote is the place to be for Chicago's most fashionable and most film-obsessed. The West Loop restaurant is partnering up with Garmental, a revered local fashion and lifestyle blog, for a tres chic evening befitting a Hollywood glam squad. Stylist Suzanne Kopulos takes the mic leading readings of the best- and worst-dressed on the red carpet for the viewing party. Attendees will have the opportunity to pretend they're Angelina and Brad for an evening, thanks to a full-fledged step-and-repeat with paparazzi-like photogs in place to stroke egos. Prizes are in fact on hand for best dressed guests, so even if it's not an Oscar, at least it's something. $10 pizzas, $5 bubbly, and film-themed cocktail specials are also on deck, including The Wolf of Wall Street made with bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari, and orange bitters; Gravity made with vodka, Sorel liqueur, lime, and allspice syrup; and Her, featuring sparkling wine, Ketel orange, lime, and simple syrup.

Old Town Social

Over at Nellcote's sister spot, Old Town Social, things are getting just as lavish. There will indeed be a red carpet complete with a "red wall" with paparazzi, so come dressed to the nines and ready to have your personal space violated (just kidding). Here, special cocktails are award-worthy, with drinks such as Best Picture made with Grey Goose vodka, Bitter Truth allspice liqueur, fresh pear puree, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla bean; Best Actress with Cazadores reposado tequila, aperol, orange liqueur, fresh lime, agave nectar, grapefruit, and orange blossom water; and Best Actor with Bombay Sapphire gin, aperol, sweet vermouth, and blood orange gastrique. Prizes will be doled out for best dressed patrons and a DJ will spin cult classic movie soundtracks during pesky commercial breaks. Groups of six or more also earn a comp bottle of Prosecco, so bring your pals!

- Matt Kirouac