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Impromptu Gathering in Rte 93 north area

I am looking for a place to hold a somewhat impromptu gathering.

We are a group of about 15-20 women in our early 50's who all went to high school together and have not seen one another in quite some time. We are looking for a place to have a simple meal (burgers, salads, sandwiches, appetizers) and a few drinks but be able to mix and mingle and catch up. A place where we can hear ourselves talk to each other.

This is for next Tuesday night so it is an advantage, I think, that it is early in the week on a night when places are not too busy and more quiet than a Friday night.

The location should be somewhere along 93 north, 128 between Woburn and Lynnfield (maybe something in the new Market Street?). Or along Rte 28 Stoneham, Reading, North Reading.

We don't want to rent a room nor do we want to make reservations but suppose we could on Monday or Tuesday morning when we have a better idea of the number of people. Best if we could just descend upon a place Tuesday night and take over a large bar area with table seating as well, preferably so we can easily mingle.

Thoughts or recommendations?
Thank you!

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  1. red heat tavern in Wilmington is right off 93 and has a large bar and a huge communal table

    1. The Yard House at the Marketplace Mall in Lynnfield would fit what you are looking for but I think you should call to make a reservation.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RoyRon

        I like the Yard House, but as far as talking and hearing each other.....ah no.

        Every time I've been in that place it's been so loud we just about have to yell across the table.

        Of course, I generally go on a Thursday so maybe it would be quieter at the beginning of the week, but with the tv's blaring in there, I just don't know.

        1. re: marilu

          that place is jammed every time I've ever been there, no matter what day or time

      2. Sam's Bistro in Reading on 28 might work. It's large enough and often empty enough on a weeknight to serve your purposes. I can't recall the layout of the bar vs dining room but do remember that they have a fair number of tables in the first room that could be put together.

        The food is, er, fine. I've mostly had salad or pizza there.

        So far, my (somewhat limited) experience with Market Street is that the places are crowded pretty much all the time - least that seems to be the case with the Yard House and the Legal C.

        1. Mandarin Reading comes to my mind, just off 128. They have many different rooms and all have comfortable seating and an attractive ambience. We always see groups there; Chinese food seems to have a fun element to it for alot of people, and it is very affordable.

          2 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            I was thinking of this too. But I think wherever you go, you should call this weekend, tell them that you are planning to get together on Tuesday but do not yet have a head count, and ask if they can accommodate you. It's a courtesy to the business, and will save the confusion of finding another location that evening if they can't.

            1. re: greygarious

              It is also hockey/BBall playoff season - so you may want to keep that in mind if doing the bar thing

          2. This is a little farther away, but not much and not really crowded on a Tuesday night. The Danversport Yacht Club, has what you would want for lighter meals and if you can snag tables outside, it would be a plus (for me).

            www.saffron215.blogspot.com

            1. What about Venetian Moon in Reading? I haven't been, but from what I understand they owned Scosso at the No. Shore Mall (now closed) and they had great martini's and small plates. We always ate at the bar, but I understand their food in Reading is good, at least from the reviews.

              1. I'd recommend Legal C Bar in the Lynnfield Marketplace. It's not too loud, there are some large tables in there, easy parking, and delicious food in my recent experience. Exit 43 off of 128 N.