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Help!! Feeding large groups in Durham, NC

Hi all,

I've used ChowHound in the past to locate a restaurant for a meeting in Amsterdam of all places and it was a HUGE hit. So, putting my faith in the Hounds once again =)

Can anyone suggest a good option for a group of 40-50 people near RTP? We are working with a $40/person budget. Mez was suggested, however they are sold out for the night we are looking. I was also looking at PapaMojos, and would love to try it, however I've heard they are not going to be big enough for our group (even though they said they can accomodate). Before I settle for Cilantro's, does anyone have suggestions to help me wow my new department on a budget?

Many thanks!

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  1. It's not Durham, but An in Cary might work. They have a "semi-private" space that can accommodate 60 people. My wife attended a group dinner there with her coworkers fairly recently and had a great experience.


    1 Reply
    1. re: carolinadawg

      This looks amazing, but sadly out of our budget. I may have to sneak here on one of our free nights...

    2. Not sure how big is it, but I know my husband went to a private lunch at Dos Perros in Durham recently and enjoyed it. I had lunch with a friend there not long ago and also thought it was good. You'd have to look at the menu to figure out if it would fit your budget, but my gut feeling is that it would. Maybe too far from RTP?

      2 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        Thanks! I will look into this as it appears to be in our budget :)

        1. re: LulusMom

          This was going to be my suggestion. They have a very good private room that can accomodate that many people.

          I would also look into G2B Gastropub.

        2. I've had a group around that size in the private room at Parizade (Durham).

          1. Are you looking for someplace just for dining or meeting and dining? Do you require a private room?

            4 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              No private room necessary, just somewhere that can fit the group :)

              1. re: afraidofpenguins

                Since you're in NC I would suggest having NC barbecue. I believe The Pit, both their Raleigh and Durham locations, are large enough to accommodate a party your size.

                1. re: bbqme

                  Done! Thanks to all your hounds for the input!

              1. re: afraidofpenguins

                We've had great success at Pop's with my very large extended family. I didn't mention it because you had said RTP and it is a 15+ minute drive, but if that works for you I think it's an excellent choice.

                1. re: D R C

                  Sadly, the group pricing at Pops was not quite in our range and so this was nixed by management. I may have to try this on my own while I am there!

                  1. re: afraidofpenguins

                    We've never had 40, probably topped out at 20; they just let us order from the menu and eat family style...always under your limit even with a fair amount of wine. Makes sense things are different if you're taking the entire front room though.

              2. AoP - While you are in the area may I suggest that you stop by Whole Foods in Chapel Hill for a snack at their Penguins Cafe. This may be a good first step for you to overcome your penguin phobia.

                9 Replies
                1. re: boaviagem

                  We've adopted a penguin. He doesn't live with us (he lives in Argentina most of the year) but it might be a good second step.

                  And AoP, I think you can do better than Pop's for your solo outing.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    And I bet he never writes and never calls...

                    1. re: Remsleep

                      Actually ... he writes! (via the good scientist who monitors him, of course). His name is Fluff Waddleston. He'd probably advise AoP to go to Blu, a good seafood restaurant.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Blu is one of our favorites. Penguins would certainly prefer the variety of preparation styles at Blu to a fried/Calabash style seafood restaruant.

                        What species is your adopted penguin?

                        1. re: boaviagem

                          Magellanic? Is that the right way of spelling it?

                          I think he'd be a big fan of Blu; perhaps not this weather though.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            From what I remember from the movie "Madagascar" Penguins are more into Sushi.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          Blu looks amazing. Searching my brain for a business excuse to go there....Oh, the Mariscada!

                      2. re: LulusMom

                        I agree, I don't think of Pop's as a one special meal sort of place. For the money and for casual, especially with Toro and l'Uva temporarily out of commission, I think it has a lot going for it.

                      3. re: boaviagem

                        Ha! It's a throwback to Wallace and Gromit, and the evil penguin that used to show up in Adam Sandler movies =)

                      4. If you willing to drive 20 min. to the east Coquette at North Hills in Raleigh might work. They have the space and one of their private event options looks workable.