Frustrated with trying to find an intimate spot for hosting a rehearsal dinner or bridal luncheon? Make like Maklemore and head downtown. Is a hip, industrial space with food options a’plenty your thing? Or do you prefer a funky restaurant with a popular five-star menu? Either way, Mara Marian of Fuse Weddings & Events reveals her top go-to petite party rooms.
Best All-White Historical Gem
Ember SLC, 623 State St., SLC, emberslc.com “Ember is a cool space that could work for a small group of around 30 people,” Marian says. Ember SLC features exposed brick, raw wood beams, a vaulted ceiling and spiral staircase. The 3,700 square foot space inhabits a 100-year-old building, but its high-gloss white walls provide a clean backdrop wide open for modern-day interpretation.
Favorite No-Nonsense Locale
Blended Table, 925 Jefferson Street West, SLC, theblendedtable.com What this light-filled concrete space lacks in frilly furnishings and overstuffed whatnot, it makes up for in bountiful buffets and artful food concoctions. Here, the focus is on the slow-food and just-like-family service, which makes sense considering it’s run by a long-time catering favorite, Blended Table. “It’s a new, cool event space in the Central Ninth neighborhood that would work for any small group.”
Best Modern-Farmhouse Vibe
Tasting Room, 357 W. 200 South #100, SLC, tastingroomslc.com If you know Culinary Crafts’ recently-retired founder Mary Crafts-Homer, you know that in addition to cherishing quality cuisine and exceptional service, she’s an avid outdoorswoman. Fortunately for the downtown scene, the ranch-gal-at-heart and her team offer the same farm-fresh, hearty menu options at this urban venue that they serve elsewhere, from Park City to Provo. Plus, Tasting Room is set inside a downtown loft flaunting exposed brick and hardwood floors. “Tasting Room also works well for closer to 30 guests,” Marian says.
Best Big-City Space
Stanza, 454 E. 300 South, SLC, stanzaslc.com If upscale and metropolitan gets you excited, consider Stanza. Walls of windows call out to guests, “Get inside!” And with a reputable menu—think tapas, pasta, duck and veal—this Italian wine bar is all about a fine dining experience. Here’s another Central City gem offering a cozy private room for 30 seated, and it boasts its own built-in bar. For a larger guest list, the upstairs Mezzanine seats 80 diners and has AV and two big-screen TVs.
Best Neighborhood Joint
Provisions, 3364 S. 2300 East, SLC, slcprovisions.com Tucked into Salt Lake’s Millcreek neighborhood, Provisions serves locally-sourced, in-season, organic cuisine. ”Provisions has this really fun orange floral wallpaper that makes the restaurant really bright and cheery,” Marian says. “They have a small private room with the same wallpaper and really cute windows that allow a lot of natural light inside. It’s a great private space for smaller gatherings of up to a couple dozen guests.”
Best Urban Patio
Current Fish & Oyster, 279 E. 300 South, SLC, currentfishandoyster.com What better way to celebrate love and adoration than dining on everyone’s favorite aphrodisiac: oysters. “Current has a very large patio that would be perfect for a larger group of 50-or-so and also a private space upstairs space inside the restaurant that can also accommodate a large group,” Marian explains. With its downtown locale and subtly-nautical historical renovation, one might think they’re in a hip coastal town like Annapolis, Maryland or Camden, Maine.
One thing we know for certain: Our readers get around. Naturally, we headed to our Instagram (@utahbridemag) friends and asked: What are your favorite small-party venues?
“Table X and Market Street at Cottonwood’s patio.” —Sarah Lyman
“The Grand America Lobby is fun for an afternoon tea.” —Amanda Hansen, Decorations Inc.
“One of my favorite spots is the grape-shaded patio at Harbor.” —Janette Eriksen, Salt Lake magazine
“I love Veneto’s outdoor patio or dining room.” —Heidi Ingham, Berkshire Hathaway
“Kimi’s Chop & Oyster House has a private room behind the balcony that is great.” —Juan Guitierrez-Naim, Estilo Salon
“My favorites are Finca, Trio at Cottonwood and Bambara.” —Nora Peterson