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Affordable restuarant/venue for rehearsal dinner

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!!!

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  1. 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

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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: ingloriouseater

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

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: MeMeMe

          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

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

            That's what we did.

            1. re: cisforcindy

              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

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

                1. re: JennaBean

                  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. 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

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

              1. re: carocantcook

                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

                  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. 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. What about Mildred's Temple Kitchen?

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: blinknoodle

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

                  2. 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