Looking for Seattle restaurant to accommodate 85 (mostly 5th/6th grade)
Looking for a restaurant to accommodate our 5th/6th grade choir and adults (total 85 people) ... need convenient location between Phinney Ave. and the Mariner Stadium. Looking for kid friendly, inexpensive, casual.
Idaho Choir lady
You sure you don't want to get a bunch of box lunches from a nice caterer (Gourmando does a nice one, Gretchen's occaisionally has a nice option, but is generally terrible) and just hang around a big park or something?
The only other thing I could think of would be one of the big banquet rooms in Chinatown. I'm partial to Ocean City (largely for sentimental reasons), but others with a big banquet-type room include Four Seas, House of Hong, and the place that used to be New Kowloon on Jackson.
I was going to suggest Spaghetti Factory too but I used to hostess there (ah, the good old days) and they don't take reservations. So, unless you were there right when they opened or they were willing to take a reservation because you're such a large party, might not work. But it would be perfect. Huge space and loads of cheap pasta.
I'm tending to agree BIG TIME with the catered meal idea. Have a caterer meet you somewhere with a bunch o' boxes and it will probably be cheaper and WAY less of a headache than trying to order from a menu. And while Gourmondo is great, for the average 5th and 6th grader, I think Gretchen's would be fine.
Regarding the ID (Chinatown) ideas, sorry but I don't know hoards of 11 and 12 year olds who are totally jazzed about anything "exotic."
My only other suggestion, if eating together is not necessary, is the Center House at Seattle Center. I can't honestly recommend any of the restaurants there but there's a huge number of choices (from pizza to burgers to Thai) and it's sort of made for huge school groups. If they're a group that can scatter and then collect again, that could work. If they need a constant eye on them, might not work.
My parents were teachers and did many outings. Good luck!
If you're going to go Chinese, be sure to pre-order. The last thing you want is different people trying to make up their minds about a menu. You can specify so many dollars per head. 85 people is about 8-9 of the large round tables typically found in Chinese restaurants. To get a place large enough, I fear you are going to have to sacrifice quality of food for sheer size.
If you were willing to travel North on Aurora, I'd bet that Super China Buffet (15323 Westminster Way N, Shoreline, WA 98133 (206) 417-9908) could accommodate that many people. The food is fine (about as good as you're going to get with an all-you-can-eat buffet, with enough dishes to please every kid and adult palate), and it's very large. Our kids' sports teams often head there.