Wedding Questions

Restaurant for private cocktail party "in season"

Posted in Sarasota, FL, USA
150158 Caroline Byrne Sarasota, FL, USA

I have been looking for a good spot to hold a welcome cocktail party for ~80 guests before my wedding. This will be at the end of march so still "in season" which surprisingly means restaurants don't want to allocate space to a private party. I'm looking for something close to St. Armands or Bayfront that ideally is open air or outside. I was originally planning to go with the rooftop at Ceviche but they have a new event planner and the back and forth was frustrating to the say the least and the end result is that it is not suitable. Tommy Bahama's won't hold a private party in season and I am still waiting on information from Marina Jacks and LIdo Beach Resort. Does anyone have any ideas that I might be missing?


7 Replies

93024 Julie and Adam

You should try Crab and Fin on St. Armand's. I had my rehearsal dinner there for about 50-60 people and there was a lot of room for more people if needed. You can rent out the whole second floor which has its own private bar and bathrooms and lots of windows overlooking St Armand's. It was really nice.


Emptyprofileicon Samara and Bobby

Check out LeBarge Party Cruise or the Chickee Hut through the Mote Aquarium.


Emptyprofileicon Heidi and Gregory

I was writing to also suggest Crab and Fin. It's one of our favorite restaurants in town.


Emptyprofileicon nicole and james Sarasota, FL, USA

Hi, Actually I am Nicole's mother, but because I do special events that sometime include weddings and have 3 online Etsy stores that cater to Beach and Destination Weddings, I would suggest:
1. Contacting some of the condos on Longboat to see if they would rent out their clubhouses overlooking the beach. With the economy the way it is they should be willing. I did a lovely one at Seaplace.
2. Contacting the St. Armands Association. They may let you put up a tent and do a small outdoor party.
3. Any nearby churches may let you rent space or also put up a tent on their property.
4. Contact the Sarasota county Parks and Recreation as they have beach accesses that you can rent as well as some with pavilions and you can turn them into something really unique and special.
These are outdoor may not be what you want...

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Emptyprofileicon Renata

I have a suggestion...I am the Banquet Sales Director for the newly renovated Bentleys Resort. We will be completely renovated by Thanksgiving 2010, and will definitely host a private cocktail party...(Whether it's in season or not.) We have two separate locations in our venue that can accommodate your party based on headcount. We have our highly sophistocated Jags Lounge that will be extended sometime in August to comfortably host a cocktail party for up to 80, or our Rolls Royce Ballroom that can accommodate up to 150. Both rooms feature a black glass & stainless steel european inspired bar with blue neon lighting and chic black & white leather furniture to make the event truly "a cocktail party setting." Please feel free to check out our website and let me know if you are interested in discussing your options. I am a bride to be myself and am hosting my reception here at Bentleys on August 7th, 2010. I know how frustrating things can get when planning your wedding and every other detail along with it. Hosting a wedding during "season" is not only expensive, but will also cause a lot of parking acommodation issues for your guests at venues closer to downtown sarasota. We are located about 13 minutes south of Siesta Key right on US 41....and have parking for up to 750. I wish you the best of luck with your wedding!!


150158 Caroline Byrne Sarasota, FL, USA

Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately all of the guests will be from out of town so will be depending on taxi or me running transport which I am doing for the wedding but don't want to do for this event. This is why i want it near everyone's hotel. So frustarting!!! Restaurants trying to charge $5000 sites fees on top of 5-10K food bills seems outrageous. I was given a similar run around at Crab & Fin...


Emptyprofileicon Cat and Greg

Hey! Have you tried the new Sarasota Yacht Club? You may have to be a member to use the facilities, but it is basically on St. Armands and totally gorgeous.


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