Located on Garfield Blvd just across from the Green Line and west of beautiful Washington Park, Currency Exchange Cafe and BING Reading Room are the perfect venues for private and semi-private events. The spaces are the brainchild of Theaster Gates, community builder and one of our city's most acclaimed contemporary artists, and is part of Mr. Gates’ broad commitment to supporting the proliferation of arts and culture on the south side of Chicago.

As a nod to both the former use of the space and the free exchange of ideas that happens both in artistic and community collaboration, Gates created space that facilitates an exchange of true currency – intellectual and cultural contemplation. In his unmistakable artistic style, Gates fully renovated the site of the defunct “Write-on Currency Exchange” and transformed the 2,500 square foot site into a beautiful synergy of vintage and industrial aesthetics with a modern touch.


Currency Exchange has four distinct spaces available for events. 


Each space offers the following:

·      Customizable food and beverage menus

·      Wine, beer, and specialty cocktails

·      Friendly and experienced staff

·      Ample street parking

·      Complete customization: A/V, floral, rentals (including Gates’ Soulware)

·  Perfect for weddings, retreats, brunch, afternoon tea, happy hours, board meetings, showers, rehearsal dinners, alumni functions, business meetings, holiday functions


Currency Exchange Café

·      up to 65 for a sit-down meal

·      up to 100 for a standing cocktail party


Currency Exchange Café Downstairs

·      up to 30 for a sit-down meal

·      up to 50 for a standing cocktail party


BING Reading Room

·      up to 25 for a sit-down meal

·      up to 50 for a standing cocktail party

BING Reading Room Bar

·      up to 75 for a standing cocktail party

·      can be used in conjunction with BING Reading Room

All of these spaces can be combined for parties up to 200.  Rental rates vary and non-profits are given special consideration.  Please email Megan to book and include the following information.


Phone Number

Event Type

Event Date

Guest Count