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Party Venue - SF Only

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Not sure if this is the proper board, but going to take a shot anyways. I may be throwing a part in the next couple of months, thinking about 30ish people. May also be only a cocktail party rather than big food event although it may include food as well. I am seeking suggestions for venues that may have private rooms for such a time or maybe small enough that can take the place for the evening.

Other details - party will be for a 40th birthday, fun-loving crowd, can be slightly raucous and enjoy their cocktails. Suggestions?

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  1. Bourbon and Branch has a private room that might fit the bill. I believe when I asked a few months ago the minimum required fee to use the room was $1500. The drinks there are $10-15, so it might be a little much for 30 people.

    But what's great is Bourbon and Branch lets you bring in and set up outside food at no charge. My friends did hors d'oeuvres, a fruit and cheese plate, and a large birthday cake. Most of it was homemade so they saved a ton of money and spent it on food instead. And B&B will work with the host to make a custom menu of cocktails for the evening, plus the usual beers and wines they have available.

    I also looked into Sugar Cafe at the time. The difference there, besides a total 180 in ambiance, is that they have their own kitchen and don't allow outside food. That's obviously good or bad depending on your preference. I've never been to a party there, but I know the upstairs area holds about 30.

    Aziza is also a popular spot if you decide to do a full dinner.

    I don't know how the food is at Orson these days, but I threw a desserts and cocktails party for 10 there and it was a lot of fun. I believe their upstairs areas has a few rooms and a mezzanine that combined would hold 30.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      Hmmm, this sounds interesting. I've never been to Bourbon and Branch which is odd as spent a good bit of time in bars. That said, I've only heard good things and might look into it. It does sound like it could be a bit rich as the group is not characterized by great moderation.

      I had also contemplated the private room at Foreign Cinema but don't yet know their policies and gathering my initial thoughts. Have done a couple of private parties at Absinthe in the private dining room which was excellent as well.

      1. re: poulet_roti

        My wife and I used the Russell Room at B & B for her 35th birthday party just three weeks ago. It cost $150 (not $1,500) to reserve the room from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on a Saturday night for up to 35 people, and then we had to hit a $500 bar tab in that time. If you have friends who like cocktails, it's pretty easy mark to hit; I think we reached it by 7:30pm., and there were 25 of us. When it was 9:00pm they let us go to the Library to continue. You can have everyone pay for their own drinks, or you can cover it yourself. You get your own bar and bartender, and you can bring in your own food (we did). They even print up special menus for the event. I recommend it, We had a great time.
        If you want to reserve it from 9:00pm to midnight, I think the reservation deposit goes up to $500, but the bar tab amount stays the same.

        1. re: barndog

          This sounds like about exactly what I would be seeking. I'll look into this a bit further. I imagine I could also keep the room for the duration of the evening rather than heading to the Library. Just curious, but what kind of food did you bring into the place?

          1. re: poulet_roti

            We brought bbq from Baby Blue's. Nothing too extravagant, good stuff.
            If you reserve the later shift, I don't know how strict they are about vacating the room after midnight, but I imagine they are flexible. We had to leave because there was another party after us.

            -----
            Baby Blues BBQ
            3149 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: barndog

              Yes, I just know my crowd would go for the duration. I was also thinking about something like Koko Cocktails on Geary as a potential place. Not sure if they would do it but going to check it out.

              Regarding food, that seems like a good idea - something that can be finger foodish without being too messy is ideal.

          2. re: barndog

            Thanks for posting this! I have an e-mail from them that says $1500 and now I'm going to double check if the hostess just mistyped that extra zero. I've been thinking all this time that my friends be making way more money than I am if they can afford the Russell Room and I can't.

        2. re: Pei

          Orson will seat up to 60

          Pete's Tavern has some private rooms.

          Betelnut has a private room that accomdates up to 36

          Town Hall's private room seats up to 40

          1. re: rworange

            Thanks, this are all good enough but seem likely purely dining places whereas I may be seeking more of a just cocktail party venue.