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Sep 25, 2007 04:40 PM

Great Lunch Spot Near CMU for 30 ppl

I am looking to host a luncheon for about 30 people at the end of October and am looking for a place that is close to CMU, preferably within walking distance. It is a business luncheon, but I would prefer somewhere with character or that is not stuffy. Any suggestions would be great!

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    1. re: rabidog

      Maybe Carnegie-Mellon University.

      1. re: yayadave

        What kind of price point are you looking for? How formal or informal?

        1. re: Rick

          I'm scratching my head for anywhere to take 30 people within walking distance of CMU, assuming it is as stated Carnegie-Mellon (dunno what else it would be, tho). And if you're going to drive, you might as well drive farther away, like, I dunno, South Side Works or something, because looking to park half a dozen cars will be crazy in the Oakland area there. Plus, with 30 people, you have to pick something kind of "safe", in other words, something that can satisfy different tastes, or at least I would assume that to be the case.

          I guess you could go over to the Walnut Street area in Shadyside, still a bit crazy to park but there is the parking lot and the garage. (A little far to walk for this kind of larger business luncheon, I suspect. If it was just a couple people you could walk it.) Maybe something like Walnut Grill would work? I dunno how they would handle a group of 30. I don't think there's a private room, but I'm not sure. Or maybe one of the Big Burrito places? Either in Shadyside or down in the Strip, although these are mainly less "safe" cuisine-wise.

          The only thing that's going to be really short walkable is something on Craig between Forbes and Fifth. Anywhere else starts to get to be a good trek, because after that you go either several blocks farther down Forbes or over into Shadyside areas. Maybe this works for your group, not sure. But nothing on that strip of Craig really jumps out as a place for a big group. Maybe I've forgotten something there though.

          1. re: CrazyOne

            Phipps Conservatory has a very nice cafe - maybe you can reserve space? I believe they also have some small event rooms in the new section. There is also the cafe across the street from Phipps - I think it is called Schenley Cafe. I haven't been there but heard it is a good lunch spot. I have no idea what type of event they can accomodate. I walk from CMU to Craig Street often - there are several good restaurants on Craig Street. Maybe the Carnegie Museum has space in their cafeteria - I haven't been there in a long time...

            1. re: katherine_w

              I can't imagine eating at Phipps for a business lunch, although maybe if they have a small event room (I only know of the large one by the rain forest room). But that sort of rent a meeting room, cater a lunch didn't sound like what the original poster had in mind. "Somewhere with character", etc. Eating in the regular cafe area would never work for 30 people.

              Whatever the place is across the one road (searching for Schenley Cafe only comes up with the Pitt food service place ;-) could be interesting. We peeked in (at least I think this is where you are talking about) when we were at Phipps a couple weeks ago. They were setting up for an event, and it would be too large to have the whole place for 30. But maybe it would work somehow. I didn't get a sense of what anything was like. Can't find a thing about this place, found some references to Schenley Park Cafe which is probably it but not even a way to contact anyone there.

              Take 30 into Union Grill, you think? :-) Haven't been in there in 10 years, and I can't remember if it's big enough. Most of those places on Craig are pretty small. We like Eat Unique, but I sure wouldn't send 30 people in there at once, even if they called ahead and had orders ready. Heh.

    2. I don't think that there is a place within walking distance to take that large of a group for a business lunch...I think this is true of most of the business lunch places in the area. However, Lidia's in the strip district has great authentic italian and great for business lunches. I believe that the upstairs dining room will be plenty large enough for a group of 30. You can't walk there though...I think that walking will severely limit your choices because most of the places to eat in Shadyside, which really isn't that short of a walk, are fairly small.

      1. I've attended a rather large lunch (20 people, I'd say) at Star of India on Craig St. It's Indian and tasty but nothing to write home about. Good but not excellent, you know? During lunch, they serve a buffet, which seemed to be a good setup for 20 people. It's also got character (as you said), and the staff were extremely helpful/friendly. Not sure if you mind separate tables, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a table to seat 30 anywhere. :)