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Affordable restuarant/venue for rehearsal dinner

cisforcindy Jul 4, 2011 12:27 PM

I'm in grave need of expert advice!

I am looking for a restaurant or venue in Toronto that can accommodate approx 45 people in a private dining area for a rehearsal dinner on a Friday. Obviously timing and size of the party couldn't be less in my favour, as Friday is one of the busiest days for restaurants and bars - most of which have a minimum spend for that night. I've been told $6,000 is the minimum spend for a couple of restaurants so far and that is just WAAAAAAAAYYY out of my price range. I'd be happy with something that is under $50 per person, including drinks.

Might be a tall order because the size of the party.

Anyone have any ideas, I'm completely at a loss on what to do. Locations preferably downtown, and it really doesn't matter if it's fine dining or a pub.

Help would be muchly appricated!!!

  1. p
    piccola Jul 7, 2011 07:19 PM

    How about Universal Grill at Shaw and Dupont? You can rent out the whole place. Dunno how much it would cost, but you can normally eat there for about $50 pp.

    Universal Grill
    1071 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6G3N4, CA

    1. b
      blinknoodle Jul 6, 2011 06:06 PM

      What about Mildred's Temple Kitchen?

      Mildred's Temple Kitchen
      85 Hanna Avenue, Toronto, ON M6K 3S3, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: blinknoodle
        JennaBean Jul 7, 2011 06:55 AM

        Is there a private space there? I don't remember one.

      2. m
        minto Jul 5, 2011 07:01 PM

        Perhaps you can check out quince on yonge st south of eglinton.
        They have a private space on the lower level.
        Maybe they can work out a reasonably priced menu for you

        1. c
          carocantcook Jul 5, 2011 09:23 AM

          I've just started looking for a venue for a party with similar specifications as yours. The new Against the Grain Urban Tavern at Harbourfront looks like a good option. I haven't contacted them yet, but they have several group menu options, including a BBQ on the rooftop for $22/person. If you do contact them, please report back if there are any minimum expenditures, extra fees, etc.


          3 Replies
          1. re: carocantcook
            cisforcindy Jul 5, 2011 09:37 AM

            Thanks! I'll check it out and let you know! :)

            1. re: carocantcook
              jamesm Jul 5, 2011 09:41 AM

              What do you mean on the rooftop? I work in the building and I'm pretty sure Urban Grain doesn't have access to the roof? Even if they did it's not a huge patio up there.

              1. re: jamesm
                carocantcook Jul 5, 2011 10:05 AM

                One of their menus is called "BBQ on the Rooftop". I assume there must be a rooftop where such a BBQ could be held. As I mentioned, I haven't researched this venue much, but it sounds promising. Since you're in the building, why not drop in and do some recon work for us ;)

            2. m
              MeMeMe Jul 5, 2011 07:42 AM

              I've had great luck with Caren's and Duke of York for events.

              5 Replies
              1. re: MeMeMe
                cisforcindy Jul 5, 2011 07:47 AM

                I could try the Duke. I tried Caren's and they charge $6,000 minimum spend on Fridays. That's way over my budget. It's a great place, but a bit over my budget for this event.

                1. re: cisforcindy
                  Crispier Crouton Jul 5, 2011 07:59 AM

                  Just do Chinese. Everyone can eat like a king for $20pp

                  That's what we did.

                  1. re: cisforcindy
                    MeMeMe Jul 5, 2011 08:28 AM

                    We had our out of towner shindig on a Saturday night from 5-8pm upstairs. Open bar and hors d'oevres. It was much less than $6K (less than half). Perhaps if you explore an earlier time in some of these places, the price will come down.

                    1. re: MeMeMe
                      JennaBean Jul 5, 2011 08:34 AM

                      How many people can they fit upstairs? To me it looks about 30 max.

                      1. re: JennaBean
                        cisforcindy Jul 5, 2011 08:36 AM

                        They told me that the upstairs wouldn't accommodate the size of the group - and we were mostly interested in the Patio. We have the actual Wedding rehearsal that day from 5-6 so we are bound to that time frame, unfortunately. I think the Duke might be an option though! :)

                2. ingloriouseater Jul 4, 2011 03:39 PM

                  when are you looking to have this (date) i might have some very specific ideas for you.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ingloriouseater
                    cisforcindy Jul 4, 2011 04:34 PM

                    The date I'm looking for is July 29th. Any help would be great!

                  2. j
                    JennaBean Jul 4, 2011 12:46 PM

                    45 people is a big group for a private dinning area. I think you're looking more at a buy out option. Do you have any fav resto's that you enjoy? I'm thinking small neighborhood places where at you could get food for $20 and then use the rest of the budget for beverages, tax, and service charges.

                    Does it have to be a dinner or can it be nibbles? Finger food can be much more cost effective and easier to do in a small local type resto if they can't seat and serve 45 at one time. For instance, Grace on College has an upstairs space where they can do a cocktail reception for up to 50 but they can only do a seated dinner for 20.

                    The other option is to put your money into the food, venue and service charge and then have people pay for their own beverages.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JennaBean
                      cisforcindy Jul 4, 2011 04:33 PM

                      Thanks JennaBean! We have been thinking of a cash bar to offset the cost.

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