The American Library Association is having its annual conference in a couple weeks in Chicago and I am trying to find a bar that can accommodate us on a Saturday from about 6pm-8pm. We're a group of about 20-25 academic librarians from all over the country and believe it or not, we're pretty cool (that is, no one has a bun but yeah, some of us will be wearing sensible shoes!). Ideally, we would like this bar to be within a 15-20 minute walk from our meeting at the Palmer House, to be able to deal with a large group (we're fine with splitting up at smaller tables but would like to still be close to each other), to offer some sort of small plates/appetizers, to not be crawling with jocks/business types/crazed twentysomethings, and to have some wines by the glass around $7. I've searched Metromix and Yelp and Time Out Chicago and I've yet to locate anything. I did consider Roof, but it sounded crowded and one review mentioned velvet ropes, which is definitely not in our plans. Is this impossible? I floated the idea of taking the El in order to leave the confines of the Loop but have met with some resistance. Many thanks for your help!