Thrillist Threw A Booze-fuelled Weekend At A Hot New Chicago Hotel

thrillist chicago weekend

Caroline Dixey

Disclosure: Thrillist paid our travel and expenses to attend Hotel Thrillist in Chicago this weekend.
This past weekend, hot-startup Thrillist, a city guide and media company for men, invited us out to Chicago for their annual “Hotel Thrillist” event. And there was a lot of rum involved—in fact for 36 hours, it was all you could really drink besides water, thanks to Bacardi’s sponsorship of the event (Axe and Doritos were also sponsors).

This year’s event was held at the new Radisson Blu Hotel in Chicago, which opened in November. The 81-story hotel, which looks like a wave rippling in the air, is a cool addition to the city’s already-storied skyline.

The Thrillist events team hosted a weekend bash that involved former Top Chef contestants who mixed Bacardi rum drinks and tons of partying.

Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer, about 20 per cent of the Thrillist team (the startup employees about 215 people), some of the Jack Threads guys, a handful of Chicago residents, and some sweepstakes winners partied the weekend away. It honestly felt like a big, weekend-long Thrillist company party (and we know they love to rage–check out these pics from the company’s recent summer picnic).

Friday night started with The Wayback Ball, a Great Gatsby themed bash, that had everyone looking dapper. Then, of course, there was an after party.

Saturday, the Thrillist team took us to the beach (yes, right in the Windy City!) where there was more rum, fake tattoos, a DJ, and Top Chef contestant Dale Levitski. Jack Threads’ first private label, Goodale, also premiered its new summer line.

Saturday night there was an After-Dark dance party with half-naked dancing women (surprise! More rum was served), followed by an after party at a rather shady Chicago dive bar.

Friday night at the Radisson Blu, Thrillist hosted The Wayback Ball. Everyone dressed up in Great Gatsby-themed garb.

A flash mob broke out on the dance floor to sounds of Sons Of Susan.

Sons of Susan played appropriately themed music for the bash.

Guests could roll their own cigars.

The Thrillist team poses for a photo in the Wayback photo booth.

Here we are with Thrillist director of communications Devon Giddon (right).

Guests took advantage of the fun props during the photo shoots.

Top Chef Alum Grayson Schmitz created a Watermelon Bacardi Lemonade especially for the event.

Food from Bar Toma, Filini Bar & Restaurant, Maison Brasserie, Markethouse, Untitled, and the Storefront Company was served at the event.

The men could get their hair done by Axe stylists.

The Radisson Blu was a great backdrop to the event.

Then, it was time for the after party at The Mid.

Here Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer poses with PureWow CEO Ryan Harwood at the after party.

The event at The Mid had strippers and disco balls.

Guests danced to DJ Danny V. at The Mid, a new club in Chicago.

Saturday morning it was time for the Oak Street beach, where Thrillist hosted its Beachside Bash.

Goodale premiered their summer line. Thrillist employees showed off the threads.

There were several massage stations on the bash.

Top Chef All Star and Season Three Finalist Dale Levitski made a peach and blueberry infused Bacardi Wolfberry and Black Razz cocktail.

The Thrillist team really loves cornhole, it was at their last company party, too.

After a siesta, it was time for the After Dark Dance Party at Park West.

The venue had Foosball and air hockey for those who don't like to dance.

There were performances by DJ Intel, Meat Number 5, and PUG$ ATOMZ.

A Thrillist employee broke it down on the dance floor.

Doritos also sponsored the event. Everyone raved with the glowing foam sticks.

Did we mention there was rum involved?

The guests seemed to be having a good time.

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