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Group dinner in Philly area

Hi hounds-

I just moved to Philly 3 days ago and already I need adivce. I have to put together a business dinner for around 15 people at the beginning of September. Since I do not know most of these people nor their culinary tastes, it has to be fairly generic (American, Italian, etc.) I need a private room and the venue must have free parking (I can't expect people to pay for parking in a hotel or a local lot). I have no idea if Philadelphia-proper has a venue like this, so I can certainly go outside of Center City or even to another county, if close enough. It can be hotel dining (if they do not charge for parking). Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks,
Rockpile

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  1. Is this an event that your firm or organization is paying for? Couldn't you roll in parking with the cost of the event? Is cost an issue in general?

    1 Reply
    1. re: urbanfabric

      My company is paying for it, but with today's costs of doing business, they want me to be "careful". Parking is Center City is almost half the cost of a meal.

    2. The city might be a problem if a lot or valet parking HAS to be included. If outside the city, how far are you willng to go? Is there a particular area that is closer to your work?

      1 Reply
      1. re: saturninus

        The people are coming from Delaware County, Chester County, Reading, and Wallingford-Swarthmore. I do not know the map of the area yet, so we could go "towards" these counties.

      2. If you're looking for a place near Philly, and you don't mind a somewhat expensive place, there is Evviva on Montgomery Ave in Merion. Big parking lot in front, beautiful private rooms, and dependable normal food (no weird fusion or trendy stuff - just good high end American). I know it's not a cheapie place but it's very good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: learp17

          Unfortunately, my company minds an expensive place. So anything more moderate would be appreciated.

          1. re: rockpile

            Can you define 'moderate' and 'expensive'?

            From your requirements it seems like a place in the western suburbs would be best. The junction of 476 and 76 (Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, the Main Line), is fairly central and parking would be easy, but you seem to have some hard and fast price limits, it's hard to recommend a place without knowing what they are.

        2. Will they all have cars?
          There are a few places I can think of that would suit your purposes, but they are not in center city.
          Moonstruck, on Oxford Ave. in the northeast, is an excellent restaurant - Italian, American,Continental with private rooms and a parking lot.
          Siri's, in Cherry Hill (NJ) on Route 70, has a small private room and a parking lot. It is fusion, plenty of American choices.
          In fact, if most of the people will be in center city, Cherry Hill is a close suburb - ten minutes - and has several restaurants with parking lots that would fill the bill.
          Evviva is terrific, but I don't know if they do a party that size.
          If your people could find street parking, there are good places in South Philly.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sylviag

            Yes, they will all have cars - that's why I want free parking. They are coming from west of Philadelphia, so I don't think going east to New Jersy is a good idea. Do you have any suggestions going west?

            Thanks

            1. re: rockpile

              We have been to several group dinners at the William Penn Inn, at Route 202 and Route 73 (or is it 63?)
              It is an old established place that does a huge business - very, very popular. Private rooms of all sizes. Big parking lot.
              You can have a very good full course dinner - steak, fish, duck, seafood, etc. for either $25 or $30, depending on what time you go. The food is old school, but really quite good. Nothing exotic or fancy, but they obviously please a lot of people.
              I'm sure they must have a website. It would be convenient and probably satisfy everyone.

          2. the saloon has free parking (they have their own lot, though you should tip the valet of course), private rooms and serves italian food, located just near 7th and fitzwater. it might be a little expensive for you though, but it can be done somewhat cheaply if you agree to a menu. it is a perfect place for a business dinner.

            to be honest, i do not think that you will have much luck finding a place in the city with free parking. 'being careful' is one thing, but i am surprised that your company gave you a nearly impossible task (especially if parking to your company = half the meal. if parking is $20, and the meal is $40, that is NOT a reasonable amount for a business dinner, unless you are going casual and hitting up chinatown (you can't exactly bring a business group to a byo, so the booze bill alone may be $40 per person). and if you are trying to throw a private dining room into the mix, it is a hair away from being impossible.). good luck, you're going to need it.