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Rooftop Rooters: Best seats out of the house

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For the truly hard-core Cubs fan, a day in the bleachers is just this side of heaven—shirt off, beer belly full of overpriced swill and a gaggle of similar- minded hoodlum buddies to party with. But there is a whole ‘nother class of Cub fans that spend their days and nights among the stars, their bellies full of food cooked to their specifications, their whistles wet with unlimited ice-cold brew and their bladders not full-to-bursting thanks to easy toilet access. Who are these heavenly bodies and from what perch do they take in the action? Well, just call them the rooftop rooters. The lucky few who (for a nice chunk of change) have these amenities taken care of, in addition to their birds-eye view of all the action from across the street atop one of the many rooftops that cater to Cub fans. Although many of the rooftops are booked solid for this season (mainly because of the overflow from the six weeks of canceled parties due to last year’s strike) there are some dates available in September and, as any Cubs fan knows, there’s always next year.

3643-45 N. Sheffield and 1032-34 W. Waveland
. The Waveland rooftop, split into two sections with room for twenty to thirty fans on one side and forty to fifty on the other, affords the finest left field/third base view of the Waveland rooftops and arguably one of the best views, period, inside or out of the stadium. For $60 a person (same as the their Sheffield roof) partygoers get full catering with chicken, hot-dogs, hamburgers, brats, dessert and beer, wine and soda starting a half-hour before the game and ending at the conclusion of the contest. The fee includes the staffing (waiter/waitress and cook) and unlimited trips to the bathroom. The Waveland location offers an almost unobstructed view of Wrigley, including the scoreboard, while the Sheffield rooftop, which holds seventy to 100 fans, has a more limited view from behind the bleacher seats with a tad of the right field obscured and, as with all the Sheffield roofs, the added El noise factor. Conroy Productions (in association with the Cubby Bear), 327-9455.

3523-25 and 3639 N. Sheffield. These two right-field rooftops are both operated a the catering firm, Tailgators, and neither is available for rent without the full catering service. 3625 is the last rooftop on the Sheffield side before Addison and it has a spacious set-up with park benches for between inning relaxing and an almost full view of the field, including the scoreboard and a bonus view of the city. 3639 is in center/right field, with most of the warning track obscured, but an otherwise full view and a partial scoreboard view. Both are available for corporate or private groups of thirty or more (45-50 for 3525) for $45 per person, which includes appetizers, dinner/lunch, ice cream and beer, wine and soda. Both contain an on-roof bathroom and are open for a half-hour before the game and close at the end of the game. 477-7725.

3637 N. Sheffield. Dubbed the “bleachers of the block” by some roofers, this narrow center-left rooftop is rented out by two different parties for both private and corporate events. For $900 per game (slightly more for nights and weekends) this fifty-to-sixty-person-capacity roof, where you bring your own food and drink, can be rented for both night and day games. It has a unisex on-roof restroom and a barbecue/food preparation area, and, while lower than some of the other rooftops, the steep set of bleachers affords a nice centerfield view with just a touch of the outfield and warning track obscured. Call 525-3285 for more information.

For corporate events (and some private dates, including bachelor and wedding parties) Gold Coast Events has a number of dates available during the season at this address, with rates ranging from $1995 at night and on weekends to $1425 during weekday games (there is a special $1725 Sunday rate) which includes food, drinks, snacks and other assorted freebies from corporate partners like Snapple and Sam Adams, for a half hour before and after the game. Gold Coast Events, (708)255-1022. (Gil Kaufman)

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