If you’ve recently been proposed to or are planning to celebrate a special anniversary, birthday, promotion—who really needs an excuse for a party?—Edina has some great venues to host your next event. Here are five of Edina’s finest party places:
“The entire upstairs of our facility can be a party,” says Pinstripes Edina private events representative Michaela Hartmann. “Our full ballroom is 3,300 square feet.” The room can accommodate 280 sit-down diners or around 500 for a cocktail party. Also upstairs are eight bowling lanes, three bocce courts, a complete wrap-around porch overlooking Centennial Lakes, a fire pit and a bar. “About half of our wedding receptions include bowling,” says Hartmann. As for food, “we have a scratch kitchen,” says Hartmann, noting that while they do off-site catering, if you book a Pinstripes’ space, you must use Pinstripes as the caterer. “We have a restaurant on the first floor and it’s the same food,” she says, “so people can come to the restaurant if they want to sample our menu.” Their signature cuisine is Italian-American. If this all sounds good to you, some Friday and Sunday reservations may still be available for this summer, but Saturdays are already booked through the end of 2016. Prices vary according to packages, ranging from $22 per guest for cocktails to $85 for more extensive food and beverage service.
Don’t count out Edina Country Club (ECC) if it’s the venue of your dreams but you’re not a member. “You’ll need a sponsor, often a friend or a business acquaintance,” says Cindy Cegla, catering director. Once you’ve found one, reserve quickly: “We’re generally booking out about 14 months.” ECC can accommodate parties of 200 to 300 in a variety of rooms. The crystal-chandeliered ballroom looks out onto the pool and golf course. “We always do our own food and beverages,” Cegla says. Signature dishes include cracker-crumb walleye and chicken Olivia. If you’d like to sample ECC’s menu, they have a wedding fair every January, says Cegla. “We showcase our preferred vendors [suppliers of cakes, flowers, and music] and most of our entrées, appetizers and wines.” Prices are generally $25 to $50 per person.
The reasons to come to Braemar Golf Course for your next party (and business manager Amy Smith lists wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, graduation parties, bar mitzvahs, book signings and fashion shows among the many types of events they hold) are three: their new renovation, their view overlooking patio, deck and golf course, and the very personalized and accommodating service. Maximum capacity is 200 guests, whether for cocktail parties or sit-down dinners. One thing you’ll have to do on your own is arrange for a caterer. But, Smith notes, “Tin Fish restaurant opened up as our on-site caterer a year ago. It’s a great and convenient option. Their catering menu is diverse and they are willing to customize your menu.” Tastings need to be arranged with your specific caterer, and you’re on your own for flowers, music, etc. “Depending on the event, we may be booking as much as 15 months out,” says Smith. Rental costs for rooms are viewable online; they range from $350 to $1,200 depending on room, day of week and time of day.
What you’ll find at Centennial Lakes Park Hughes Pavilion, according to assistant park manager Laura Knollmaier, is “a welcome respite from the traditional banquet facility.” The pavilion rents from late March to early December and holds up to 120 people. Smaller parties can be accommodated if the pavilion is divided into rooms. The pavilion has a calm, soothing feel, enhanced by the beauty of the lake, by gardens cultivated by the park’s own horticulturists, swinging benches, walking trails, even lawn bowling, a putting course and croquet. Similar to Braemar, you will have to hire your own caterer; any licensed caterer is allowed, although they have a list of preferred vendors. Booking for 2017 started in January; in January 2017, they’ll start booking for 2018. Room rental prices are online, ranging from $250 to $1,150.
“The Westin Galleria offers a wide range of venue options for intimate celebrations to full-fledged weddings. Whether it is a cocktail reception for 400 or seated dinner for 300, the Westin will take care of your every need,” says Tyler Paape, Westin Galleria Edina director of catering and special events. They partner with neighboring restaurant McCormick and Schmick’s for all on-site catered events, specializing in personalized wedding menus which can be sampled by up to six people. In addition, an event specialist well-connected in the community is happy to assist with securing outside services. Couples should contact the Westin as soon as possible to guarantee their dates. When it comes to pricing, “Every effort is made to accommodate your budget.”