Yesterday we were lucky enough to host a little birthday get together (for Andrea of August Veils and Sara of Love, June!) at the newly renovated Grand Central Bowl on SE Morrison, and we must say, the new owners at Concept Entertainment have done a nice job renovating this facility.
Completely non-smoking, you enter Grand Central Bowl through the bar and find 12 lanes surrounded by cushy leather couches. An upstairs mezzanine area features billiards and fireplaces, and can be rented privately, while still having a view of the action down on the lanes.
Full bar and food service is available as well. We enjoyed our coconut shrimp, calamari, and Asian style ribs along with a wide variety (ahem) of cocktails and beers. I’m sure they would be able to create a custom menu for an event as well if asked.
This would be a great place for someone who wants to do something a little different for rehearsal dinner, but still keep it on the “nicer” side of things. Very cool!
This also reminded us of some other really fun things others have done in the past for the rehearsal dinner or wedding-weekend kickoff party:
Ground Kontrol. This arcade and bar near 5th and NW Couch boasts a multitude of classic and newer arcade games, as well as the opportunity to rent privately with DJ stage. The bar is only beer and wine, but you don’t need more than that to fuel your Ms. Pac Man or Gauntlet marathon, do you? Best part, you can bring your own caterer (or just pizza!) Inquire as to the possibility of having their very own MC Destructo preside over a Rock Band competition – the bride’s side vs. the groom’s?
OK, my final idea, and it’s not really mine, I read about it in ReadyMade magazine a while back: the taco truck rehearsal dinner! Nicole and Todd of San Francisco created a “Night Before” party in the style of a Mexican village square, complete with taco truck, a bar in the the shape of a shark, and festive globe lights strung around the parking lot of a friend’s glassblowing studio. They then invited all 350 of their wedding guests and let the magic happen.
And sure enough it did. In the words of the couple (and as quoted from Readymade): “Aunts and uncles wandered around the glass studio, marveling at the blazing kilns. The shark bar did a brisk business in mixed drinks-especially to a contingent of relatives from Florida. But it was the taco truck, that merry prankster of catered food, that became the center of the action. That was where Lappin and Avril saw the scene they’d hoped to orchestrate finally play out-the old family and the new, mingling over tacos. “When I saw the relatives get in line for the truck and begin quizzing the locals on the difference between al pastor and carne asada, I knew they were getting it,” Avril says.
How totally fun! Of course I had to look up what local taco trucks there are, and sure enough, there are directories of all the taco trucks in Portland, here and here, for any of you who wish to create this experience as well.