Venue: Smallman Galley
Location: 54 – 21st St., Strip District
Want to impress a crowd by renting one of Pittsburgh’s most unique dining spots, for a day or a weekend? Smallman Galley has two bars, four restaurants and 200 seats. “We’re growing our events program right now,” says Heather Granader, event coordinator for Galley Group. “You can also reserve just the Smallman Street side of the restaurant, which holds up to 90 guests. We try to get the word out on social media and our website when it’s rented, so people aren’t disappointed if they show up and it’s closed.” Restaurants Iron Born, Colonia, Banhmilicious, and brunoise will remain through May 2018.
Details: Galley Group requires three weeks’ lead time to book an event. Buy the entire space for $1,000 for a day, or $2,000 for a weekend. “We require a food and beverage package with that,” says Granader, but she promises the minimums (which differ by days) are “pretty attainable.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-281-0949
Location: 25 Shiloh St., Mt. Washington
The bake shop that Vickie Pisowicz opened in 2011 has a loyal customer base. This full-fledged bakery — known for its elaborately decorated cakes with whipped buttercream icing — also stocks baking and candy-making supplies. It has a café and a party room that rents by the hour. “We rent it out usually for kids’ parties,” says Brandi Hugar, the wedding cake decorator. The room holds up to 35 people. In this cheerful space, kids (of all ages) can decorate their own cupcakes or mini-cakes. “For children’s birthdays, you may want to consider adding a ride on the incline,” Hugar says.
Details: Party room rates are $25 for one hour including tables, chairs and tablecloths; $90 for four hours including tables, chairs, tablecloths and one cupcake per person for up to 25 people. Cups, utensils and drinks cost extra, as do decorations such as a sign and balloons. Decorate your own cupcake for $10 per person.
Contact: email@example.com or 412-251-0811
Venue: Grist House Craft Brewery
Location: 10 E. Sherman St., Millvale
Talented brewers Kyle Mientkiewicz and Brian Eaton of Grist House are childhood friends who became brothers-in-law. They began brewing at home and will eagerly tell you their story of honing the craft. Their brewery, located in a remodeled slaughterhouse in the heart of Millvale, opened in 2014 with an all-season deck and spacious outdoor beer garden. It’s a dog-friendly establishment for leashed, well-behaved pets. “Grist House is popular due to our delicious and well-crafted beers, friendly staff, welcoming environment, beautiful outdoor space and (for being) dog-friendly,” says Eaton.
Details: The brewery will host private events on Mondays and Tuesdays when the taproom is closed to regular business, or on weekends before it opens at 2 p.m. Hourly fees start at $50; groups must spend a minimum of $500 and pay 20 percent gratuity on the bar tab. Rental time cannot exceed four hours, unless negotiated with Grist House management. Hold the date with a $100 deposit.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-447-1442
Venue: Union Project
Location: 801 N Negley Ave., East Liberty/Highland Park
This restored and repurposed historic church at the intersection of two East End neighborhoods has become a community hub where people connect, create and celebrate. Though Union Project offers more than 120 arts programs and events for people of all ages, it also rents space for private occasions of all sorts: weddings, fundraisers, reunions, birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, even funeral services. Event spaces are the Great Hall, the Atrium, and the Board Room; the kitchen is available to rent by the hour for food production, or in addition to a Great Hall rental.
Details: All rentals require a non-refundable security deposit of $100 to hold the date. The Great Hall accommodates 300 seated audience-style or 240 seated at tables; the Atrium holds 30-45 people; the Board Room, up to 16 people. Rent all three for a wedding package for $3,500 for 10 hours on a Saturday (Sundays and Fridays are $2,750 for eight hours). Pricing by the hour for other purposes.
Contact: Raiona Gaydos at email@example.com or 412-363-4550
The family-owned Point Breezeway at 7113 Reynolds St. gets a five-star rating on Yelp for its cozy space and attentive staff; contact owner Lauren McMillen to host a private party. Engine House 25 at 3339 Penn Ave. is a winery at the Roberto Clemente Museum available for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate events and party rentals. ACE Hotel, 120 S. Whitfield St., has a gymnasium, ballroom and homey private dining room for rentals. Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, offers a variety of event spaces in the setting of a cutting-edge contemporary art museum. Wigle Whiskey opens its distillery to nonprofits and small groups on Mondays and its barrelhouse (seasonally) on Wednesdays to host casual fundraising events. Not a nonprofit? Schedule a weekday tour for 12 or more people, or rent the distillery for a private event.
Got a great idea for an event venue? Let us know in the comments below!