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Wedding Reception at SD Restaurant

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Hi folks, I'm new to the board and really hoping to get some expert foodie advice from anyone who may have gone through non-traditional wedding planning.

My fiance and I want to have our wedding reception at a restaurant rather than a bland ballroom somewhere that has no ambiance and will end up costing more because of having to pay for the venue, PLUS hire a caterer, rent tables, linens, etc. However, we've contacted a few restaurants and have hit some glitches, making it really hard to settle on one. Here's the breakdown...

Laurel: This was my first choice. LOVE the food and the decor. Very close to ceremony site (Marston House). Here's the problem - after initially talking to them and having them say "yes, we'd love to host your reception," I haven't heard back. No responses to my calls or emails (which I find odd considering I have worked with them professionally before and not had that problem).

El Camino (in South Park): I also really loved this idea because of how unusual it is. However, same thing - after the initial conversation, I didn't hear back from them. I even went by to see if I could talk to my contact in person. Her response was that she had emailed me AND called me a week ago. I find it hard to believe that BOTH of those messages didn't make it to me.

Bleu Boheme: They have been super responsive. But I'm hearing mixed things about the food (I admit, I haven't eaten here yet - of course I will before making a decision). And it's not very close to the ceremony site.

Linkery: I also thought this would be a cool, unusual place, but I'm not sure how the layout would work because of how much the dining area is divided from the bar area by that low wall. And I don't think we could get all 80 guests in the dining area alone.

So, fellow foodies, what are your thoughts? What should I do in particular about these people who haven't been getting back to me? Other places you would suggest?

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  1. Are you still going to be able to have your wedding at the Marston house with the impending closure?

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlestevie

      The ceremony is just in the garden, so we shouldn't be affected by it. The house was operated by the Historical Society, but the City has always been in charge usage permits for the garden so it doesn't change much on that front, fortunately.

    2. How many people? Budget? Preferred view????

      1 Reply
      1. re: ella6664

        80 people, and view is not at all a factor. In fact, I'd prefer not to use a waterfront venue. I'm a little reluctant to share my budget, so feel free to throw out all options.

      2. how about the Top of the Park at the Park Manor hotel? It's practically right across the street from the Marston House. http://www.parkmanorsuites.com/weddin...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alice Q

          I have checked out their website...their event rooms just seem so bland, not much personality.

          1. re: foodie bride

            I have been to two weddings at PArk Manor, the redeaming quality of the location is the open roof, the views are great, but the place is a little drab and can use a make-over.

            If you could rent out Blue Boheme, that would be a fun location, the food is very good and they have a great bar. They also have some outside seating and that would offer your guests more opportunity to mingle and enjoy the evening.

        2. Have you also thought of CAFE 11 in Hillcrest, they are very good.

          1. Of course, part of me when thought when I posted this "I'm sure that the people I've been waiting to hear back from will get back to me as soon as I'm done typing"...which ended up being the case. So I do like all of my original ideas - I'm just not sure how to determine which of the pros & cons will win out.

            1. I would suggest against Laurel.

              That place has gone downhill fast since it has had new owners.

              1. Hi! My mother pointed me to this thread because my fiance and I are planning the exact same thing! I researched many of the same restaurants, but I think you are far more along than I am...

                The front-runners for us are Anthology (http://www.anthologysd.com/) Blue Boheme, Vagabond (http://www.vagabondkitchen.com/) or Currant (http://www.currantrestaurant.com) We're going for a French-ish theme but we're pretty flexible at this point. We also thought maybe a wine bar might be a possibility. Please update if you've decided on anything or found any new places, I would love to know!

                5 Replies
                1. re: rbarnhart

                  I will definitely let you know! My fiance's brother had his wedding at a neighborhood restaurant in Seattle and we loved it, but we've had a hard time finding other folks in SD that have gone this way with their reception. We thought about Vagabond too, but thought it might be too small.

                  1. re: rbarnhart

                    We went to a party at Anthology and we had a great time, we had the level with the balcony, it was very nice, I would not recommend more than 50 people, you would be sharing it with their regular patrons.

                    1. re: rbarnhart

                      We've decided - It's Bleu Boheme! They are great - really flexible and affordable. And we went to try a few things on the menu and thought the food was fantastic, so we're stoked!

                      1. re: foodie bride

                        Foodie bride,
                        I'm planning on getting married next summer and actually live in Kensington..I hadn't thought of a reception at Bleu Boheme. Do you know if they are renting out the entire facility or just the back room?

                        1. re: sdpanda80

                          We're using the entire restaurant. We are going to have a daytime reception to keep it more affordable, but you can get the entire restaurant for a Saturday night as well (it's just a higher minimum that you have to guarantee).

                    2. How about Urban Solace in North Park? It's a gorgeous building and should be able to do 80 people (albeit a bit snugly). We're considering it for our rehearsal dinner. I've also had a fellow CH recommend California Cuisine in Hillcrest, which is supposed to have great food and a lovely patio.

                      http://www.californiacuisine.cc/

                      http://www.urbansolace.net/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: geekyfoodie

                        Has anyone heard anything about Whisknladle in La Jolla? Is it a small place? Good for a wedding reception?

                      2. I'd suggest Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens in Sorrento Mesa for anyone not afraid of heading toward North County; they have Weddings on Saturdays, and it's in the middle of a beautiful Japanese Garden.

                        -----
                        Karl Strauss Brewery & Restaurants: Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens-Sorrento Mesa
                        9675 Scranton Rd, San Diego, CA 92121

                        1. Thanks for all the input, everyone! Since I've gotten a few responses here (and several in the real world) from people who were thinking of doing the same thing for their wedding and wanted to know how I was going about it, I started a blog hoping it will help other brides with their planning: http://fightthefondant.blogspot.com/

                          rbarnhart and sdpanda80, you should check it out! I haven't done an posts about Bleu Boheme yet, but I will soon.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: foodie bride

                            We goty married on the Berkely, the nice thing about the location is you do your own thing, you bring your caterer etc,