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Rehearsal Cocktail evening in Manhattan Beach

Midwest chowhound here. My sister is getting married in Manhattan Beach in October. I'm looking for a place to host a cocktail evening (after the family rehearsal dinner) and I would love recommendations from some LA chowhounds. Can be casual (just not divey) or upscale -- my first priority is *good*. Most people are staying at the Shade or Marriott, so close to that would also be nice. We'll have about 30-50 people attending. On my list so far (though I haven't checked with anyone directly yet):

- Manhattan Beach Brewing Company
- Hennesey's Tavern
- Towne
- Mangiamo

Alternately, do people ever have events on the beach?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. a problem with events at the beach is the lack of civilized bathroom facilities.

    1. Are you looking to rent a room and have an open bar? You will not be able to fit that many people in Mangiamo's. And the beach won't work - no alchohol allowed. Town could be good. There are a lot of chains near the Marriott. When you say "good"...do you mean drinks? or food?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rizza

        Good to me is money well spent -- I get what I pay for. I don't mind the price (within reason) as long as it's worth it. This will be after dinner -- mostly drinks with some food. I'm open to chains near there Marriott -- anyone got opinions on the local Houston's or McCormick and Shcmick's?

        1. re: ElizabethMN

          The local Houston's is good, but you'll definitely need to call and see if they can accommodate your group. Again, are you looking for a private room to rent out, or just a bar that you can flood with a lot of people?
          Rizza is right, no alcohol is allowed on the beach.
          You might want to ask the Shade or Marriott themselves if you can either rent a private room for this, or if they have a lounge that would be suitable.
          My favorite place in that immediate area is Rock N' Fish, but again you'd need to call to see if they can accomodate a group that size. But you might want to add it to your list.

          1. re: ElizabethMN

            houstons will be jammed with dinner customers on a saturday night, i'd ONLY go there if you've made arrangements with them in advance.

        2. Try the Salt Creek Grill in El Segundo, Jazz on certain nights and perhaps you can chat with them for a special rate for your group.. They have an outdoor area with a fire pit and blankets, However its in a shopping center ( close by the Mariott ). The recs near Downtown MB that you have on your list range from a beer spot, to a lounge.. What night of the week are you planning to have this event??

          2 Replies
          1. re: Foodandwine

            Thanks for everyone's input (keep it coming, if you have more!). Yes, this is a bit of a scatter-shot approach I'm taking. I thought I'd start with as much as possible on the list, then narrow from there, figuring places get booked and not everything will be an option in the end.

            The cocktail party will be on a Saturday evening. I'm open to all suggestions from a private or semi-private room to a bar large enough to accommodate. Salt Creek is very appealing -- I like the idea of the fire pit.

            1. re: ElizabethMN

              I think you should be thinking more in terms of bars or lounges, and/or hotels. Salt Creek is a restaurant, and they probably wouldn't want to give up all that food revenue and have a large party ordering mostly drinks take up a huge area on a Saturday night. Same goes for other restaurants mentioned.

          2. Where is the rehersal dinner being held?

            1. hennesey's tavern is an ordinary local bar (that makes good bloody marys). if you are going to bring in 30-50 people on a saturday night, definitely prepare them so that they can staff the place appropriately.

              1 Reply
              1. re: westsidegal

                Speaking of hotels---I know Shade wants a fortune for an event...The greek restaurant across from it -Petros has a full bar and a heated outside patio. What about the hotel on Sepulveda just south of Rosecrans? Forgot the name! In the last few years it was renovated from a English pub motif to a "cool cat" loungy look. I almost did a party there a few yrs ago and found the pricing to be reasonable vis a vis Shade...

                Also, consider Hermosa and Redondo...

                There is a restaurant at The Portofino in Redondo-the food is awful but the ambience and decor is nice-fire pits along the harbour, etc...great for a cocktail party.

                Hermosa is lovely and quiet in October-many of the restaurants on the Plaza and on Hermosa Ave. would welcome a party....thinking of Meditteraneo, The Shore, Hennesseys on the Plaza has an upstairs outdoors deck overlooking the beach....

                Good luck.