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Inexpensive No Fuss Engagement Party location

j
Jessattacks Mar 1, 2013 11:09 PM

Hi!
I am looking for restaurant/bar that would work great as an engagement party venue, preferably with an event room without a hire fee. I am not looking for a full coarse meal, just somewhere guests can get a few drinks and snacks. Guest list is roughly 10-20 people. Hoping to find somewhere in the SGV but I am open to anywhere in LA.

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  1. westsidegal Mar 2, 2013 01:13 AM

    what sort of drinks are you thinking about?

    i've been to such parties that were held in mexican restaurants.
    they served premade margaritas served from a pitchers alsong with soft drinks.
    the "food" items were nachos and other finger foods.

    7 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal
      Local Mar 2, 2013 08:33 AM

      following westsidegal's suggestion, El Portal in Pasadena does this kinda event all the time...outdoor patios (upstairs and floor level) or indoors.

      1. re: Local
        j
        Jessattacks Mar 2, 2013 08:56 AM

        Fiancé isn't too keen on Mexican food but I will check that out. I had more of a cocktail lounge or pub type of place in mind

        1. re: Jessattacks
          westsidegal Mar 2, 2013 11:00 AM

          i'm trying to understand all of your criteria.

          you want an event room without a hire fee.
          am i wrong in presuming you want this room on a weekend night?
          you don't want real food, just "snacks."
          your guest list is between 10 and 20 people (big range there)
          you don't want mexican
          you want a cocktail lounge or a pub.

          are you guaranteeing the facility the sale of a certain minimum amount of "drinks?"
          would you be willing to agree to a tip percentage added to the bill?
          what kind of drinks? beer and wine only or distilled drinks too?
          are you expecting that these drinks will be made to order, person by person as they are ordered or could a pitcher of some kind of drink (e.g. margaritas, sangria) be sufficient?
          will you be treating or will every guest need their own separate tab?

          be aware, that some parts of LA are associated with sky-high parking/valet charges.

          fwiw, i vaguely remember such a party at a bar on main street in santa monica named Finn McCool's but there was no private room. no reserved space.
          the folks who gave the party just staked out the rear corner of the bar and the guests were treated like all the other patrons of the bar. a bar-food menu was available from which the guests could order. every guest paid for himself/herself. they had a full liquor license.

          there are a number of public parking lots in that area with pay stations that take money and credit cards, not always easy to find parking, but far from improbable.

          1. re: westsidegal
            j
            Jessattacks Mar 2, 2013 05:58 PM

            We were thinking more along the lines of an afternoon event probably on Sunday . We are hoping to avoid paying for a three course dinner and drinks since in ten months -guess what- we get to pay for that and more for triple the number of people.

            Idk maybe I'm looking for too much but a place that would allow us to be in a separate location from the main dinning area of their restaurant/bar. And wouldn't force us to set a menu just orders tapas style along with pitchers of beer or wine on the table, whatever. i didn't take your suggestion on the mexican restaurant because my fiancé hates mexican food and this is a party to celebrate the both of us so i wouldn't want to force him to shovel down food and drink he hates at our own party...I'm totally comfortable paying a gratuity or whatever I just don't want to get stuck with an engagement party that costs just as much as the wedding. I am trying to avoid LA and stick around our home in the San Gabriel valley since parking is easier and things are less expensive. Basically we are trying to find a hassle free place for us to celebrate...I think we may be in for one!

            1. re: Jessattacks
              c
              chewbacca Mar 2, 2013 06:10 PM

              I went to one at Pomona Valley Mining Company and thought it was nice, nice location, and reasonable. The view was memorable. Congratulations!

              1. re: Jessattacks
                westsidegal Mar 3, 2013 08:38 PM

                i was at a party just like that over a decade ago.
                sadly, the place has been closed for years now.
                it was held at stick 'n stein in el segundo.
                they had a private room upstairs that they used for just such parties.

                1. re: Jessattacks
                  h
                  happybaker Mar 3, 2013 09:51 PM

                  I think you could/should look at the happy hour deals that are available downtown. You could pre-pay for some food and drink and have a decent area set aside for you for not too much money, even on the weekend.

                  I know Chynna downtown has some haters and I get it - it's not classic dim sum. But it's tasty, pretty and when I went there at 11am on a saturday - great food. Their drinks are discounted at happy hour, I think even on the weekend. And parking is validated.

                  Daily Grill has a decent happy hour on the weekends, downtown.

                  And...?

        2. Servorg Mar 2, 2013 09:19 AM

          If you get there early enough you could probably stake out room for your party on the patio at Villains waterside at the LA "River" in downtown... http://www.villainstavern.com/Home/VT... (their website also says for group reservations to email dave@villainstavern.com )

          1. k
            karmicbacklash Mar 4, 2013 01:19 PM

            I promise I am not stalking. The LA thread is my normal lunch time viewing.

            Il Fornaio is Pasadena has a lot of banquet rooms of various sizes and offers antipasto platters for 10-12 people at about 30 bucks a platter. My work had our holiday party there a few years ago and it was really nice. I don't know about drinks and hire fee though.

            Settebello has really great pizza and cheap wine during happy hour

            Hell, Congregation might do it...

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