Viper Alley works in Lincolnshire
Viper Alley's music hall can fit about 350 for a sit-down dinner show, or about 650 for a stand-up rock concert. The Marshall Tucker Band performed on March 23. | Photos courtesy of Viper Alley
Updated: December 17, 2012 1:56AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Now open more than a year, Viper Alley has reported its concept works in the northwest suburbs.
The name that sounds like it belongs on Rush Street or in Lakeview in Chicago once drew confusion from the Village Board, but Lincolnshire has turned out to be a solid fit for the live music club and private event space.
Scott Greenberg, CEO of ECD Co., which owns Viper Alley and the surrounding CityPark retail and entertainment development, said the venture has found its groove with the right mix of bands, corporate functions, limited menu and full-scale kitchen.
“In both areas, we are seeing continued growth in what we’re doing,” Greenberg said Monday. “It’s very gratifying that it’s become a really important cultural icon.
“We’ve distinguished ourselves, because we’re not really a bar,” he added. “Ours is a place where you come out for dinner, and you see a piece of world-class entertainment. There’s really nothing like that in the northwest suburbs.”
With 15,000 square feet, Viper Alley can fit 350 people at its tables for a dinner show, or pack in 650 for a standing crowd. Guests can enjoy a sound and light system that Greenberg said visiting performers also love.
“There’s no echo in the space,” Greenberg said. “It’s a lot about sound absorption.”
For concerts, the facility offers a small but “top-quality” menu of pizzas, appetizers, a few entrees and desserts, he explained. When rented for corporate functions, nonprofit fund-raisers or private events, however, the kitchen staff can expand its offerings to whatever the customers would like, he said.
For those rented events, Viper Alley also can become a bowling alley, opening up the six lanes that remain covered during concerts.
And the customer base has proved steady, Greenberg said.
For concerts, Viper Alley sends out emails to a list that has reached 12,000, while conferences at the nearby Marriott or Westin often rent the space for social hours.
That customer base, he added, also has proven to be docile.
During the approval process a couple years ago, village leaders worried that Viper Alley could be a bar hosting unruly rock concerts, which could lead to problems.
Greg Duffey, deputy chief of the Lincolnshire Police Department, reported that he has seen almost nothing of that sort.
“We’ve had like five calls there the whole time,” Duffey said Friday. “It’s been quiet.”
Greenberg said even as the business grows, the community should expect more of the same.
“It’s a community base, like Ravinia,” he said.