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East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville) - 50 Person Dinner - Any good spots?

Hi,

So I am planning a dinner for around 50 people for a club I am in. All of my previous attempts have fallen through and the dinner is in 2 weeks. We want it to just be a regular dinner (not a banquet) where everyone orders of the menu and stuff, the problem is finding somewhere that seats 50 people. We are located in Berkeley and would happily do anything in the East Bay Area (Emeryville, Berkeley, Oakland...). Ive looked into Chevy's, Pyramid Brewery, CPK, Applebees and others. I would really like to find a place like Stonefire Grill in socal but dont know of any in this area. Any and all tips appreciated.

Thanks

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  1. Speisekammer's private room can seat up to 60.

    See the bottom of this page:

    http://www.berkeleycvb.com/event_faci...

    1. It's surprisingly hard to find places that take groups without a banquet/private room and/or a set minimum. One place I've had good luck with is Italian Colors in Montclair. Not fabulous food, but respectable Cal-Italian. I don't know if they can do 50, but it's worth a try.

      If I were going to have a dinner for 50, I'd call China Village ....

      1. 6 Degrees on Solano on the Berkeley/Albany border

        Zazoo's on the water near Jack London Square in Oakland (lots of parking too at Zazoo)

        What's the budget?

        4 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          We are preferably looking to spend under $20 per person but want each person to be able to order of the menu.

          1. re: student

            Given some of the places you mentioned, maybe Macaroni Grill ... probably get thrown off Chowhound for saying that.
            http://www.macaronigrill.com/Menu/Men...

            Is parking important? A few places big enough that might do that ...

            Montero's on Solano (Think Chevy's but better

            )

            T-Rex (BBQ ... not universally liked, but better than chains and they have some good cornbread ... this week ... they change the menu a lot)

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I think with one big credit card and then everyone passes the cash my way.

          2. thanks for the help so far. I am going to look into all of those when I get home from school today. Anymore tips would be appreciated.

            thanks

            1. Spenger's comes to mind because of another thread. The food isn't good, unless you order carefully, but it is better than the other places you mention. I attended a large birthday party there once and we could order off the menu. The atmosphere can be fun and there is parking. Not ideal, but it could work.

              1. On a similar note, there's Jack's Bistro in Jack London Square. Average to above average American cuisine w/ a typical Calfiornia/Ital touch. I've noticed they have several fairly large private rooms that and I've never seen it crowded. (I think they do a convention/hotel/meeting business).

                Why do I know of this place? I usually take my Dad there for his b-day or father's day for a steak or slab of meat. It's definately better then a chain like Black Angus, Chevy's, Beppo...sort of on par w/ Ruth Chris. I go probably once a year or so and I'm never disapointed...but I'm not expecting much.

                http://www.jacksbistro.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: ML8000

                  Cool, thanks a lot, jack london square is a very good location for us. Hopefully they have openings.

                  1. re: student

                    I doubt if you would be able to order off of a menu at Jack's in one of their private rooms for under $20 a person (I've been to work functions there several times).

                2. I bet Nellie's Soul Food in Oakland could seat 50 - the space is big enough, and they're great with big groups. You should call them. Food is in your price range, and much more delicious than the dreck at the chains and restaurant conglomerates. Fantastic fried chicken.

                  510-625-1350

                  http://nelliessoulfood.com/index.html

                  What do you know? They now have a website. Note that the menu posted on the site is only half of the real menu.

                  1. Have you tried Little Hong Kong in El Cerrito? They could section the restaurant in half for you. I don't know how accomodating they'd be about ordering off of the menu, but the food is a great value. We had a group of twenty-five one night and it averaged out to around $20 per person, where else in the Bay Area can you do that?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: calmom

                      Thanks for all your replies. Lots of these sound amazing and you guys turned my drought into almost too many choices (you can never have too many). If anyone else can think of some place that is the perfect fit, i would love to hear. Thanks!!

                    2. Countdown till someone suggests Trattoria Sicialiana....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: grishnackh

                        Can they take 50 people?? If they do I'm going to kick myself for going to Cafe de la Paz for our rehearsal dinner instead of there.

                        I do not recommend going to Cafe de la Paz. They have space, and the food is okay, but they were unbelievable disorganized through the whole process and made us pay a deposit immediately.

                      2. I just did a dinner for 40 at The Bay Wolf. It was fabulous. For fifty you wouldn't all be in the same room, but they;d make up for it in level of service and cuisine

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jeffyd

                          That would be considerably more than $20 per person.

                        2. We took over Bette's Oceanview Diner on 4th street for a party last year - 45-50 people. I think it was more like $30 per person but you can choose from different dinner menus. We had two passed appetizers, then our guests had a choice of either fried chicken or hamburger. Unlimited malts, floats and drinks and for dessert we had one of the best key lime pies in the area (IMO) or ice cream. The kids really enjoyed the jukebox.

                          1. Afghan Oasis might do it. The space is huge and usually pretty empty. Food's OK and inexpensive.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              I walked by there the other night, and it looked D-E-D dead, as in, it must be closed--and just as well, the one time I tried it, the food was awful. That is a weird location, nothing seems to survive there--perhaps the hotel is cursed?

                            2. I was just remembering that when we had a chowdown at Ethiopia in Berkeley last month, we were the only party in the restaurant. They were happy to have 18 of us, and I bet they could handle 50 (on a weeknight).