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Jul 4, 2011 12:27 PM

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