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Jan 23, 2010 10:04 AM

Need free location for Art Show (Phoenix) with great appetizers (Poerz)

I am hosting an Art Show featuring young artists - all oil paintings on canvas. I am expecting 60-80 people and I am looking for free space in a restaurant. I will be purchasing all the wine, beer, and appetizers from the restaurant.

The problem is most restaurants don't have a big enough space. All the hotels and resorts will charge you big for the space plus the drinks and food. Does anyone know of a restaurant in North Phoenix, Desert Ridge, or Scottsdale that may work? Rock Bottom Brewery and The Keg have free rooms, but they are not big enough.

I was hoping for an opinion from Poerz after reading several of your posts.
Thanks everyone.

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  1. There are very few restaurants with private rooms. If you are expecting 60-80 people for an art show you most likely will not have that many all at once so the first decision is to figure out how many people you will have at maximum at one time. If it is a three hour show you may not have more than say 40 at any one time. Assuming this is cocktail style - that is without seating - you will need about 10-12 square feet max per person not including the artwork, Etc. So that's probably not that big of a space.

    Hotels typically will not charge you for the space if you purchase a minimum amount of food and beverage. Ditto for restaurants. In any case, I'd look to passed appetizers rather than a buffet to reduce cost. If you add some high boy cocktail tables - but not chairs - people will sit their glasses down and not drink as much. If there are no tables beverage consumption will increase. One option is to do a no host bar but guarantee the restaurant/hotel minimum sales. No pun intended but hotels and restaurants are very hungry right now and need the business. Most should work with you. Of course, timing is everything. They will work with you less if the event is during high season like February through April.

    Now, to answer your question. Two places I really like are Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. They have a number of rooms that should work and the atmosphere is great. Number two woulld be Fleming's Steak House. There are two in Scottsdale and I believe both have a nice private room in the back. I've used both and been very satisfied. I believe Sassi has private spaces but I have not used them. Good luck.

    1. What's your budget for something like this? Poerz has good suggestions, but they seem high end. "Young artists" doesn't make me think of swanky Scottsdale... Have you considered any of the smaller restaurants in the downtown/Roosevelt area? I know a lot of them are art friendly (they have to be with all the First Friday traffic) and serve food/apps. It might not be the right venue, but a place like Carly's, Fate, or Roosevelt Tavern might cost a lot less than what you'd pay at a resort or larger restaurant. That said, your experience at Lon's or Flemings would be top notch.