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May 22, 2011 10:29 PM

Restaurant buyout in San Francisco for a wedding?

Hi all, we're looking for restaurants in San Francisco that can accommodate a group of between 120 and 150 people for a wedding reception, probably through a buyout. If the restaurant has a separate space or patio that could be used for the ceremony beforehand, that would be a bonus. The event will probably take place in late 2011 or early 2012. For budget we're thinking up to $150 per person if that includes venue fees, rentals, and food costs. We know our options would increase if we looked in the East Bay or on the Peninsula, but we'd really prefer to stay in San Francisco if possible.

Specific questions:
1) Suggestions for a restaurant that can do a buyout for a group of our size? Some examples of places we personally like in SF are Nopa, Marlowe, Cotogna, Zero Zero, Mission Chinese Food...

2) Does anyone have price comparisons for the costs when considering a lunch buyout versus a dinner buyout? We are willing to consider lunch if that means we can have our event at a place where we'll feel confident about the food being awesome.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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  1. Not a restaurant but one of our daughters got married at the Great American Music Hall a couple of years ago. IIRC (she handled it all) they have their own catering and the food was great. Really great. She's our little fashionista, foodie kid so she knows her way around that type of thing. And the physical venue is gorgeous.

    1. Epic Roasthouse has a beautiful private event space (views!), Temple Nightclub (gorgeous wedding space, believe it or not...Asian-fusion cuisine), the back space at the Burritt Room in the Crescent Hotel (can't vouch for their food, though), and Spruce does buy-outs for large parties - day or night. Greens Restaurant is a beautiful space too, but it's vegetarian-only...

      Note: If you're willing to do a Sunday wedding, you can save tons of money on venues/restaurants.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeredithR

        I have been to a wedding at greens - they are only available sundays i believe (they do not normally offer dinner service on sundays) and it is fairly affordable and the food was quite good - but im pretty sure 120-150 is too big especially if you wanted any room for dancing.

      2. Consider the Spanish Cultural Center on Alameny. They have a nice space for a wedding and rooms for private parties with good food. Last I heard you could bring in your own liquor and wedding cake but that may have changed.

        Spanish Cultural Center
        2850 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94112

        1 Reply
        1. re: SunsetKid

          I'm in your debt for mentioning this place. We ate there a number of times about 20 years ago when we lived in the city. Hadn't thought of it in ages. First place we ever had tapas. Loved everything about it, especially the friendly staff.

        2. Thanks for the advice so far! We're hoping for specific info on numbers and pricing if anyone has anything to share...

          3 Replies
          1. re: tbiytc

            this link may help


            I don't have specific pricing to share as my experience has been that much depends on the time of day and time of year of the wedding and the current popularity of the venues,

              1. re: tbiytc

                When I was planning my wedding a couple of years ago somebody I spoke with had done a buy out at Foreign Cinema and loved it. I remember thinking it was pricey-but that was before I'd done much research and found out just how expensive most weddings are!

                Foreign Cinema
                2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

          2. My sister bought out One Market for her wedding, and it was fantastic. They can use part of the pavilion/atrium in back for the ceremony, eat dinner inside, and the same area for the ceremony can be converted into a dance floor and stage. It doesn't hurt that the food is fantastic and the restaurant has earned a Michelin star 4 years in a row.

            One Market Restaurant
            1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

            2 Replies
            1. re: gigimarie

              We hadn't looked into One Market, but we will now. Did they do a seated, plated dinner? Do you know approximately how many people your sister had to her wedding? My impression of One Market is that it's quite large and lists their full capacity as 600... Just wondering how a smaller group would fit into the space. Thanks for your suggestion!

              One Market Restaurant
              1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

              1. re: tbiytc

                They are probably 600 for a standing reception, no seating at all. Her wedding was about 150 people, and a seated 4 course meal. They have a separate private dining area that you don't have to use for dinner, we used it for gifts and seating off the dance floor. We kept everyone in the main dining room during dinner, and we were able to fill the space comfortably. Beth was the private dining coordinator we worked with, and she was fantastic. I helped my sister with all the planning, we looked at Town Hall, Perbacco, the now defunct Bacar, and Pres a Vi, and decided One Market was the best choice. We also got a room block at Hotel Vitale right across the street for our out of town guests.

                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Town Hall Restaurant
                342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

                One Market Restaurant
                1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

                Pres a Vi
                One Letterman Drive, Building D, Suite 150, San Francisco, CA 94129