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Calgary Restaurant/Pub Needed for 90 Person Wedding Reception

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Hello Calgarians,

My fiance and I are getting married June 2012 and are needing to lock down a venue to have our wedding reception. We are looking for ideally a pub but would also go for a restaurant in the NW where we can either take over the main area (if they would let us) or use a private room that would fit all of our people. This number will most likely be 80-90 people including some kids - so I know depending on the liquor license this would not work.
We will not be eating dinner there as there will be a big BBQ lunch during the day however we would like to offer appetizers as the evening progresses and guest start to get hungry again. We would also need a bar or drink service.
Can anyone suggest somewhere? We are NOT into decorating so I would love to find somewhere with it's own decor and vibe.
Thanks so much!

JJJ

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  1. Off the top of my head, NOtaBLE and Bear's Den come to mind for restaurants in the NW. I haven't been to either, so I can't comment on the food. Notable has received mixed reviews on this board; Bear's Den has received consistent good reviews. Also, Dolce Sapori (attached to Pulcinella) has been mentioned a few times lately. Again, haven't been so cannot comment on the food.

    Maybe a pub or bar with a rooftop patio? I'm thinking Molly Malone's--I think their canopy has string lights so it might be pretty, if quite rustic, for a casual wedding reception.

    For atmosphere, I *adore* the lighting at the Local 522 (downtown), along with the beautiful modern wood. There is a little stage, so it may suit a wedding well (if you need to make speeches, etc). I have seen bands at the Local 522, and can attest that you can see the stage from pretty much anywhere in the bar, though view will be partially obscured by the bar from some angles. I like the food here--it's well-executed pub fare.

    Its sister, the Local 510, is also beautifully appointed. But since it is located on 17th Ave SW, it is a lot busier in the evenings, and parking will be a hassle.

    EDIT: I did a bit of research on restaurant capacities about a 1.5 year ago, details in this thread along with great suggestions from other Chowhounders: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672650

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    Bears Den
    254028 Bearspaw Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3L 2P7, CA

    Pulcinella
    1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

    NOtaBLE
    4611 Bowness Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3B 0B2, CA

    Local 522
    522 6 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0S1, CA

    Local 510
    510 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A9, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: aktivistin

      WOW! Thank you so much! I will look into all of your suggestions.
      Cheers,

      JJJ

      1. re: jessjab

        Bears Den may be a good choice as I remember there being a little stage where the 3 man band were playing when I was dining there that could serve as a "speech" area. It also has a fireplace so it may add to the ambiance as well. It seems like its more suited towards the "eating dinner" crowd but I dont see why they couldnt do apps and wine/beer. It's been a little over a year since I've last been but I don't think it would have changed much. I've just checked their website and they have a "functions" page that states that they can seat as much as 150 guests with dancing area and stage. Seems like it may fit the bill.

        http://www.bears-den.ca/functions.asp

        Congratulations on your marriage. :D

    2. If you're looking for an outdoor/big patio, maybe talk to West Restaurant in the Scotiabank Building downtown. They have officially opened their 15,000 square foot patio on the +45 level...perhaps they'd be able to do something for you.

      Saltlik also has two private areas available for buyouts. The upstairs room is a former nightclub (Skybar) and it's quite spacious, so you'll have lots of room (as a matter of fact, with only 80-90 people the upper room might be too big). The downstairs one is much cozier. I forget what their official capacity is down there (we looked at it for a company xmas party a while back...I think it's 90-100?) but is has a pool table in the lounge area, dining room, and dedicated bar...and their minimums are actually very reasonable...around $1000. We did book it out for a buddy's stag night a few years ago....and they treated us very well.

      **EDIT: Just saw that you said you were looking for NW spots...so the downtown locations might not suit your needs.

      Stone Hill restaurant is kinda barely in the NW (Harvest Hills), but it's VERY big. Accirding to their website they can accommodate 100+ ( http://stonehillrestaurant.com/ ), and I have a couple friends that swear by this place, as they live just down the street from it. I've never been in there myself.

      5 Replies
      1. re: electroleum

        So that is what replaced Flight Deck. Looks like Stone Hill is part of the Vintage Group (Vintage/Redwater/Rise/Rush/Bookers).

        1. re: electroleum

          Thanks for everyone's suggestions. We are slowly narrowing it down and now need to make a trip to Calgary to meet with some of the venues and finalize things!
          The key things that are making it hard are that their will be minors, my fiance REALLY wants a pub style feel with pool tables etc to make it more interactive.
          We will not be eating there, just appies later on. I know that this is where places make their money so it might be hard to book them just for their space and drinks on a prime Friday or Sat night. Also, now location is not such a big deal as long as our guests have easy access to hotels and cabs as people will be drinking.

          Here is our short list:

          Saltlik
          Bears Den
          West Restaurant (LOVE rooftop patio)
          Teatro - Opera Room
          Belgo Brasserie
          Molly Malone's (if minors allowed...)
          Kilkenny (if minors allowed...)

          Has anyone had experience with any of these venues? I would also like to know if I am dreaming to think that we could do this at any of the said venues for under $3000? We may contribute money towards the cost of drinks but guests will be on their own for their drink tabs.
          Thanks Calgarians, we appreciate the help!

          -Jessjab

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          Belgo Brasserie
          501 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G1, CA

          Teatro Restaurant
          200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA

          Bears Den
          254028 Bearspaw Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3L 2P7, CA

          1. re: jessjab

            Don't pick restaraunts in calgary that are higher end with expensive menus. 3000 is pretty cheap I cant see a place renting out thier space like teatros or belgo. even west is a far choice considering they are packed fri/sat. Pubs would probably be your best bet as that seems to be the reception you are after.

            1. re: blueck

              Teatro and Saltlik both have a room rental of under $200, and a minimum amount of $1500-$2000 that has to be spent on bar fees and food. So I think either of those should work for us.

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              Teatro Restaurant
              200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA

              1. re: jessjab

                Do you think Teatro would end up being super-expensive for your guests to drink? It sounds like you're cutting costs by doing a barbecue lunch, and then to go to a restaurant where most of the wines are ~$15 by the glass...

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                Teatro Restaurant
                200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA