Looking for an event space for 80th birthday party

Hi there, I’m wondering if anyone can recommended a venue to hold our dad’s 80th birthday party. It will be about 50 people, and that seems too big for a private room at a restaurant and too small for a lot of the event spaces around town, which seem better for bigger parties. Looking for a late afternoon event with casual dinner and drinks. 

Any suggestions of places that might work? We are open to Berkeley, Oakland, kensington and contra costa county.  Thank you!!

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Lake Merritt Hotel has a beautiful space overlooking the lake. 


I struggled finding a space too. I wanted a safe area, flat parking lot, an elevator, excellent quality food and enough room for mingling, immaculate, airy, well apointed, festive features and I imagine you want these too. I loved Ceron Restaurant on Webster Street in Alameda, parking lot at rear entrance. Event space is entire second floor. The terrific delicious food, in-house baker, easy-to-work with management, pretty tables and wonderful servers made my baby shower for 36 a very sucessful event. There was plenty of room for three times the guests. Everyone loved it. Highly recommend this place.

St. Alban's in Albany (right on the Berkeley border - a block off of Solano) has a beautiful hall available for a reasonable rate. There's a kitchen and dishes available, too. A nice size - tables and chairs, etc. Here's the website: https://stalbansalbany.org/facility-rentals/

We had my mom's 90th birthday at Trader Vic's in Emeryville. I'd never actually been there but heard older folks like it. It was a big hit with everyone.  They have private dining rooms of different sizes that have views of the bay and the marina. Easy access, easy parking, festive atmosphere, fun for young and old. We got leis for everyone and told them to dress in tropical clothing. You can set up a fixed menu in advance for the group, food served family style, and decide how much if any tropical drinks you want to provide. The food is not foodie level but it's not bad and the buffet offerings had something for everyone. We passed around mai tais for everyone before the food was served, and then guests could visit the bar after that and buy their own fancy cocktails if desired.  It was fun and we got some great photos.

We've also had family birthday parties - especially brunches - at Skates on the Bay in Berkeley.  Both Skates and Trader Vic's are set up for parties and have a pretty good system for planning that made it relatively low stress for me. 

Hello! It’s in SF, but I wanted to suggest Hayes Street Grill in Hayes Valley. They have a very large, beautiful light filled half of the space that they close for events. I had my 50+ person baby shower there and it was so memorable and the food was fantastic. An SF legacy restaurant that’s been in operation for 43 years. 

It’s my mother in law, Patricia Unterman’s restaurant so please let me know if you’re interested!

Thanks and good luck!


Check out all the Oakland Parks & Rec buildings available for rent. I used Sequoia Lodge for my wedding of about 40 people, and it seemed the right size for 40-50. There are others, I think something next to Lake Merritt, one at the MLK shoreline, Leona Lodge in the hills, etc. The Oakland ones seem a better fit for you than the Berkeley ones. Of course, these are only space, you'd need catering as well.

I would encourage you to check out The Phoenix in Alameda. They have a great space that is large enough for your group but still small to feel intimate. I've been very happy with the bookings I've done there. I also recommend the winery on the Alameda base, I can't remember the name but an event I attended there (about 60 ppl) was very nice. 

I've been to recent events at the Brazilian Room and El Cerrito Community Center--

Brazil room – pluses: really lovely, great views ; minuses: might be difficult for older guests to get there without help; you have to use their caterer (the food was fine.)

El Cerrito Community Center – pluses: relatively accessible space, good for disabled people, nice room, some outdoor space; minuses: not beautiful. I'm not sure about whether you need to rent furniture or if it comes with the space.

Another idea – your father's church or synagogue – most have a social hall and some outdoor space. Some might be available for rent to nonmembers.

You might check out some of the yacht clubs in the area; they often have spaces available for rent. I got married at Berkeley Yacht Club (you'd need an outside caterer). I've seen private rentals at Encinal YC in Alameda, which has a restaurant so I think they can provide food. Other clubs I'm familiar with (though not with rental options) are Alameda Yacht Club and Richmond Yacht Club. 

Temescal Beach house?

  • Seated Capacity: 80
  • Standing Capacity: 130
  • Indoor Dimensions: Fireside Room 29’x29’,
  • Lakeview Room 38’x15’
  • Patio Dimensions: 92’x28’
  • Parking: 15 dedicated spaces in gated lot, Additional public parking in North lot (fee charged on weekends/holidays Apr-Oct)
  • ADA Accessible


I have seen a few families have gatherings just under 50 people at the Arlington Clubhouse, and the fees online are pretty reasonable! I think you'd have to have your catering come to the site or bring your own food and drink -- Link below: