Behind the Brand: Cinq Chicago


Cinq Chicago is the underground dinner club that everyone is talking about. We chatted with the club’s founders about how to join the club, how it all began, and their next event.

What is Cinq Chicago all about?
Cinq Chicago is an underground supper club, with an emphasis on five distinct elements:  Food, Wine, Socializing, Fashion, and the Arts.  We incorporate all elements into our events, to give our members an amazing dining and multi-sensory experience.  We are exclusive, in that we don’t just allow anyone to become a member.  They have to have the same vision and passion for the five elements as we do, and they have to be keen to a high level of socializing and schmoozing!
What inspired Cinq?

In a nutshell, Cinq started off as just a simple idea of having a wine tasting for bloggers.  While living and working in Spain, I used to do monthly underground dinners (with several co-workers) on our day off.  These dinners were geared to all the people who couldn’t get a reservation to the restaurant we worked at (El Cellar de Can Roca), so we offered them the next best thing – a dinner in one of their homes with the experience of eating at El Cellar de Can Roca.  I had been wanting to do something similar in Chicago, but I could never find the right avenue or demographic to make it successful, especially with all the other established supper clubs in Chicago.  

How did the co-founders meet?

Ironically enough, we all met at a blogger event back in October of 2013!  It’s where I first met all of the co-founders (save Katharine, who I met later the next week over a bottle of grower Champagne on a Monday afternoon at the Trump!) and I pitched my idea to all involved at the time.  Everyone loved the idea, and it quickly grew into a website and membership drive.  Within a few days, we had an official first event scheduled for that following November. 

You are all bloggers, how does that factor into Cinq?

Great question!  I think for us co-founders, we can relate to the majority of our members, who happen to be bloggers as well.  Bloggers like to stick together, and they have a certain personality type that is a common denominator between all bloggers.  Bloggers are also into social media; so we make sure that we incorporate and encourage social media promotion.  Not only within their own blogs, but also to write about their experiences with Cinq. 

How does someone go about joining Cinq?

The easy answer is to go to our website and head over to the JOIN section.  However, that’s the easiest part!  Everyone who joins, is required to be referred by an existing member.  If you don’t know a member, then chances are you will not be accepted as a member.  Even so, having a referral does not guarantee admission into the club!  Ultimately, it comes down to how we feel an applicant will gel with other members.  That is one of the major factors in admitting someone into the club. 

When is Cinq’s next event, and what can attendees expect?

Our next event is on Saturday, May 17th!  We are entitling it The Summer Kick-off Celebration.  We are using a members beautiful condominium, that will incorporate their indoor and outdoor spaces.  We will be having a family-style dinner, along with some great wines and some summer cocktails that will make their debut made by two of the hottest mixologists in Chicago.  Since we encourage great fashion trends as well, you can expect to see members dressed in their best Elegant Summer attire!

If you are an underground supper club, why are you so social media happy? 

Our success is driven by the members we have in our club.  The majority of our members are great social-medialytes, and we want to continue that goodness with our supper club.  Promotion and success is driven by social media;  members are not afraid to tweet live from the events, as well as posting pictures and tagging their fellow members on Instagram and Twitter.  We believe that social media is our friend and partner!

What do you think the future holds for Cinq?

We currently have 200 members, so I think our membership is going to continue to expand.  We’ve been fortunate to have been featured in several publications such as Crain’s Chicago and DNAinfo Chicago.  That has helped us to grow at a rapid pace, and show us just how good of a job we are doing.  Ideally, we would love to be doing several events a month this summer; a combination of bigger and smaller events.  The demand is there for us to grow, so we are planning to be the best in Chicago!

Any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Absolutely! All of our success thus far, would not be possible if it wasn’t for our co-founders – active and non-active.  All of us co-founders have jobs, blogs, significant others, illnesses and other things that take up time.  We started with a vision, and we know that Cinq will continue to move forward, even if some of us decide to take some time off or step away to focus on other things in life.  It’s easy to get so involved with Cinq, that other things take a back seat.  But in the end, our success would not be possible without all of the original co-founders.