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Calgary Restaurant's for Wedding Reception??

Hi all,
We are getting married in Calgary next summer, and are looking for places to have our 100 person wedding reception. We have narrowed it down a little, but please if you have any other suggestions for me to look into let me know!
The key things that are making it hard are that there 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 (BBQ lunch during the day) , 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.
We do not want a traditional reception in a hall or banquet room, and I am not interested in decorating so the place must have its own atmosphere and decor.

Here is our short list:

Saltlik (has pool tables!)
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

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  1. Since you're down to seven places I would recommend contacting them directly and asking them. I can't imagine you would get more reliable answers from this board than from the establishments themselves. I've been to 6 out of 7 but only as one table, not 100 people.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hsk

      I agree. But more just wondering if anyone has had a reception/larger group event or been to one at any of these places. And if so how was it? The food, the service and just the experience in general! I am also curious about the Zoo....

      1. re: jessjab

        I rented out the downstairs area at Saltlik for my husband's 40th birthday (3 years ago). The food and service was great. I would use them again. Our party had lots of problems but it was because they rented out the main restaurant to the Progressive Conservative Party and they would NOT leave us alone. The bathrooms for the entire restaurant are on the bottom level so there is foot traffic past your event. We had issues b/c the PC's thought it was part of their party too & got very nasty when told they were not. They ate our food, stole our cake, called one of my friends the c-word....it was a disaster. Saltlik was overwhelmed, I think, and tried to keep them at bay. Long story short, I think it's a great venue as long as they don't rent the main restaurant out. I don't think you would have any issues with regular diners in the restaurant.

        1. re: jessjab

          I had work Christmas lunch and my husband's Christmas party there. I thought the food was pretty good, the bar service was efficient and the zoo itself was cool (it was during Zoolights).

          However, I wouldn't recommend it for this particular wedding reception because, beside the zoo animals, there's no other entertainment; you're really just renting a big room with no pool tables, etc. It doesn't sound quite like what you want.

      2. Teatro's Opera Room is really fantastic, known a few brides that have had weddings there and are all impressed by the food and service. The only thing is I know they're limited in space so better make sure they can actually cater 100 guests. A few other ones I've known off that have done weddings is Rouge (more French cuisine) and The Ranche I heard is also quite nice with great food and location- again may have to call to see if they can cater 100 people. Honestly, it's going to be hard to cater 100 people with a $3000 budget. You're looking at $30.00/ per person not including drinks which I know from most brides I've talked too (I work in the wedding industry so this is info from other brides I work with)- you're looking between $40-55 a head not including drinks. If anything see if some of these restaurants offer a corkage fee, it may be cheaper than purchasing wine and drinks directly from them. I know some corkage fees are about $10- $15 per bottle which is probably still cheaper than purchasing it from the restaurant. At least that way you can shop around for wine.

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: pasaker

          I am leaning towards Teatro or Saltlik, we should have time in the next few weeks to check them out. As for our budget, the $3000 is only going toward the rental/set up fee for the space and appetizers for our guests. We will be having a huge picnic/bbq lunch early on in the day and meeting back after dinner for drinks and the traditional wedding stuff. (speeches, dance etc.) So none of that $3000 will go toward a catered sit down dinner. We do want to serve appetizers or a small snack style buffet as the evening progresses and guests start to drink and get hungry again. We also are not having an open bar, so guests will be on their own for bar fees, although we have thought about buying a bottle of red and white for each table.
          I want to keep things in check budget wise, although I suspect we will go through a little bit of a reality check as our planning gets going!
          Thanks for the tips, I will post the results of our wedding journey :)

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

          1. re: jessjab

            We did exactly what you are saying at our party at Saltlik. The room downstairs has it's own bar & they will set it up as a cash bar for you. Back then they had a rule that you had to spend $1500 but they included the proceeds from the cash bar in that total. I ordered lots of appies and everyone covered their own drinks. It worked out well.

            1. re: Merry113

              Perfect, it is sounding promising!
              I think I will give them a call and see what their availability looks like for next year. We want to avoid the Stampede!

            2. re: jessjab

              Saltlik should fit your budget and your group size. The figure that Merry113 quoted of $1500 sounds right. We rented it out for a buddy's stag party one night about 4 years ago, and between about 10-15 of us we only ended up having to spend about $100 each. I was pretty sure it was somewhere in the $1000-1500 range.

              I've never been in Teatro...but I would expect them to be somewhat pricey for a group affair.

              1. re: electroleum

                Good to know, that sounds promising. I will give them a call this week.
                Thanks!