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large group (30+ people) restaurant in Pittsburgh

I'm trying to plan a holiday gathering with family for the first time in quite some time. We're looking for a place than can accommodate a large group but will also be casual enough so we can mingle with each other. A private space would be great, but I know this isn't always possible. We would like to be centrally located in Pittsburgh (although not a necessity), BYOB or a bar is fine, and obviously good food would be nice. We're pretty flexible so any suggestions would be welcome. I'm really at a loss. Thank you!!

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  1. What about the Hofbrauhaus. You could either go before 3pm when they take private parties, or just be a big group in that space. Beer obviously available. Very casual atmosphere.

    http://hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Had traveled to the Steel City frequently and never heard of the Hofbrauhaus. It looks like a PA styled trip to Munchen. With a potential trek to the Burgh after the holidays I will make a note to attempt to find Pittsburgh's Bavaria and this beer garden.

      1. re: cwdonald

        thanks for the suggestion, but we have some people in the group who are a little older and some young children as well. I'm not sure this would work for us.

        1. re: julierose

          Try Max's Allegheny Tavern?

      2. Penn Brewery has a German style restaurant and a nice private room downstairs.
        http://www.pennbrew.com/Restaurant.aspx

        Also, Lidia's has a loft that's, of course, apart from the main dining rom.
        http://www.lidias-pittsburgh.com/priv...

        4 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          I've had several bad experiences at Lidia's.

          1. re: sal_acid

            We had my daughters rehearsal dinner at Lidia's and it was fabulous. Have eaten there many times and never had a bad experience

            1. re: rotini

              I've eaten there three times. Service terrible, meats wildly oversalted, pasta cold. At best you can say its variable. Look at tripadvisor; some good reviews, some terrible. All I have is my own experience to go by.

          2. re: yayadave

            i will contact Penn Brewery. This could be a good option if they allow us to reserve a space in the main dining room. I love the downstairs space, but they do require a minimum amount to reserve the space and I don't think we would spend as much as they require.

          3. This may be a little low ball for you, but some of the King's and Eat n Park restaurants have back rooms. I realize that that probably eliminates any alcohol. But, you did say " any suggestions would be welcome."

            Lidia's is, admittedly, at the other end of the spectrum. But a good choice.

            1. Luke Wholey's Wild Alaskan Grille at 2106 Penn Ave. has a loft. I don't know if they use that space for private parties. Good seafood. It can get noisy, depending on when you're there.

              1. Here are a few surprise entries. PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the Casino. All do private affairs. Also, maybe the Mozart room at Heinz Hall does these. I don't know. I noticed that the Casino bar was closed on a week day when we went to lunch, but as we left we could look down into there and there were serving tables set up and people gathered.

                3 Replies
                1. re: yayadave

                  thank you for all of your suggestions. Which restaurant in the Casino should I consider?

                  1. re: julierose

                    Boy, I really don't know. The place I saw was the Drum Bar. It opens at 4 pm every day but Sunday, when it opens at 12 pm. So last Friday in the afternoon they were able to have a closed party in the afternoon. But they might have some private, multi-purpose rooms available. I would have never thought of it until I saw the gathering on Friday. Sorry I can't be more help.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      You've been a huge help! Thank you!

                2. Downtown today I just bumpt into another possibility.
                  Six Penn Kitchen
                  http://www.sixpennkitchen.com/2011-Si...
                  They get around to telling you what spaces they have at the bottom of all the menu options.

                  1. E2 in Highland Park has a nicely remodeled downstairs room for special events, and the food there is markedly better than anywhere else that's been mentioned. Plus, it's BYOB.

                    1. Hate to say it since it's not chow worthy, but Bravo on McKnight road in the North Hills did an excellent job for a recent family party with nearly 40 people. The food was good for what it was but the service is what really set it apart. They have a room that they close off and is private. The servers and the managers were really on top of their game. We recently attended a party for 150 at much more expensive restaurant and whole affair could've taken lessons from the Bravo party.

                      1. Thanks to everyone for all of your suggestions. We ended up with a group of over 50 people so we had to rent a hall and have a pot luck. But now I have plenty of suggestions for the future! Thanks again. Julie