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Sep 18, 2010 10:41 PM

Calgary: Restaurant or Venue that can seat and feed 140 people?

Hi Everyone!

I have a friend who's getting married and is having a really hard time finding the venue. She's planning to have her wedding this December and needs a place that can seat a 140 people max. She's thinking only 120 people can arrive to the wedding. Checked out most wedding venues, but she's thinking something more restaurant like because then she doesn't have to deal with extra cost of paying for a rental cost, caterers, decorators, settings etc. A restaurant would be a lot easier to have.

Bride and groom are from Italian and English backgrounds so maybe something along those lines would be preferred. Both have guests flying in from Europe so a venue that's beautiful and has terrific food to show case Calgary talent would be preferred. Also, she has a budget of around $8000 for the venue or restaurant so anything around that or lower would be preferred!

Thanks for the help!

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  1. What about Siraia at the Sirocco Golf Club? iirc Noble is their exec chef, and reports from one of our intrepid regulars are excellent. By the looks of their Wedding info they can seat 134 for plated service... if the couple can reasonably expect numbers to be 120 then they'll be able to accomodate everyone -- and golf courses are beautiful in the snow.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maplesugar

      Siraia seems beautiful! Thanks Maple Sugar for the link too!

    2. The Ranche in Fish Creek Park may fit the bill.

      4 Replies
      1. re: formerlyfingers

        I thought of The Ranche too but wondered if the guests would have to be split up into separate rooms? I know their main dining room is pretty big -- I was at a formal dinner there awhile back... I think there were about 100 of us in the main room?

        1. re: maplesugar

          They list a max of 110 in the Grand Salon.
          A little capacity map for The Ranche:

          1. re: cancowboy

            Ah yes The Ranche was one of the locations she was looking at, even though there's seating for 110, but could you image if she had an extra 10 people left and had to seat them in another room! LOL.

            1. re: pasaker

              It might teach those who are late to RSVP to change their habits heh but as a bride (10 years ago Oct 7) I would have wanted to make sure there was room for everyone. ;)

      2. Rush is enormous- 120 should be a piece of cake there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          Rush would be a piece of cake. At Rush with a budget of $8,000 for 140 people a piece of cake is probably all they would get.

          1. re: sirdinealot

            Oy, I didn't even notice the bit about budget! But I wonder if it'd be that bad...

        2. pasaker, for a one-room set up, there are few restaurants that can hold 140. I think your friend may be limited to Chinese restaurants (I like Forbidden City for banquets) if she wants all 140 to be able to see the head table, or be the same space. Here is an old post from when I researched some venues for a work function:

          That said, there are a few cultural societies and clubs, like the Italian Canadian Club in Bridgeland or one of the Germanic (like the Austrian and German) clubs that have spaces that could hold that many people. These places sometimes have an in-house restaurant or catering service, so she won't need to hire an outside caterer.

          To stay within an $8,000 budget, is your friend doing a lunch instead of dinner? Most restaurants of that size have a $100 or more minimum per head to rent out an entire restaurant for dinner, but maybe that minimum is lower for lunch.

          Forbidden City
          999 36 St NE, Calgary, AB T2A 7X6, CA

          2 Replies
          1. re: aktivistin

            Austrian and German clubs are in horrible NE industrial areas- not the sort of thing that would show off Calgary unfortunately. But on that theme- we've had departmental Xmas parties (with, I'd guess, around 80 people) at the Danish Canadian Club, which is on 11th Ave SW across the street from Cookbook Co. The food was fantastic and it was less than $50 a person, but that was in 2000.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Yes, I have suggested to her to look at the cultural clubs in Calgary and she did look at the Italian Canadian Club, but she told me that there was a lot of fake plants and columns there LOL. Which I mean, there's nothing wrong with that unless your wedding is toga themed. :)

              I think the most concern she's having is trying to get a really beautiful/fancy wedding on a budget. Though really, I do think she's quite flexible with the budget. Basically she wants a place where she can serve a 3 course meal by a decently good chef at a space where it's already set up and beautiful so she doesn't have to spend the time and the money to decorate. That's why I was thinking maybe having it at a restaurant. At least you can try the food and basically just pay for the food and service without having those little additional costs, such as an alcohol license to serve wine, decorating fees, rental fees, paying additional to have servers there to serve or a bar tender etc...

              At the same time she wants to impress her guests, it's hard to want to impress guests coming from other countries where the food is naturally amazing. I like the idea of having a lunch themed wedding (but being Italian her family would prefer her to have a sit down dinner). Ahhhh..... it's tough!!

              Us Calgary Chowhounders should group up and do taste tours around the city and make a list of which restaurant can accommodate <100 or >100 for functions and who does which dish good, wine list, services, etc..... LOL Just putting it out there!

          2. Has anyone been to the Danish Canadian Club recently?