Philly Venue Round Up: The Down Town Club

MoxieDad and I got to The Down Town Club with only a few minutes to spare, mostly because I was SURE I knew where it was, and I was wrong. This is not shocking, as I have almost no sense of direction in Los Angeles, and I’ve lived there for eleven years. What made me think I knew where I was going in a city that I don’t know so well? Anyway. Thank jeebus for GPS. We got there.

Photo by Faith West Photography

“There” ended up being directly across the street from the Liberty Bell. Like, you can see it from the doorway of the Public Ledger Building – and The Down Town Club is on the top floor.

Photo by M2 Photography

We were impressed as soon as we walked in the door. The first thing you see when you walk in? This handsome fella…

That’s Ben Franklin, folks. He’s watching you.

When we got off the elevator, the first thing I thought was, “This place is nice. Kind of old-fashioned, though.” (We had just come from the ultra-modern Front & Palmer and the sleek Top of the Tower.) My first impression was “traditional”.

We were greeted right away by Mary White, who could not have been nicer. Within minutes, I felt like we were old friends.

The Down Town Club encompasses the whole eleventh floor of The Public Ledger Building, and (aside from the kitchen), you have use of the whole floor. And they only have event per night, so you have the whole place to yourself. Which we really liked.

The Georgian Room is the main ballroom, which we would also use for our ceremony.

Here’s it’s ceremony look:

Cliff Mautner Photography

And here it is, all sassy and ready to party:

Photo by Art of Love

And in between, when the ballroom is being changed over to the reception, the cocktail hour takes place here, and it’s gorgeous. I kind of want to put a bar like that somewhere in our house. We don’t need a couch, right?

This is kind of a bad photo of the gorgeous bar in the Grill Room. Wedding photogs, why not give the bar some photo love?!?

Mary mentioned that they only use the Grill Room for cocktail hour and then shut it down, because wedding guests were spending the whole evening in there instead of the ballroom! Hilarious.

We sat down with Mary to go over the menu options, and this is where The Down Town Club won over MoxieDad (and me!). After almost a full day of analyzing menu packages, and trying to negotiate more options for our guests, The Down Town Club was, how do I put it? Super generous with their selections. There is SO MUCH FOOD on their menu, and you get, um…all of it. Most places offer one or two stationary appetizer stations for cocktail hour. The Down Town Club gives you FIVE stations, plus six passed hors d’oeuvres.

We are Italian, and can not say no to food.

Yum.

Don’t try this at home, kids. He is a professional.

Things taste better when they are small.

CHEESE!

And did I mention there is a Venetian ROOM? Yup. An entire ROOM of desserts. I mean, seriously? How can you beat that? Oh, and there’s an espresso station too. And milk and cookies. And cannolis.

And now I’m hungry.

Damn.

Bob the Builder and I had a relatively small list of criteria for a wedding venue. 1. Ceremony & Reception at the same place, to avoid the dreaded “gap”. 2. Dance floor in the reception room. (You’d be surprised how that wasn’t so easy to find)  3. Near a few major hotels. 4. Only one wedding at a time.

So, The Down Club wins on all four counts. And they have a crazy good menu. And, did I mention the view?

If you sat here, you would have the best view of Philadelphia.

And, it’s walking distance from the Omni Hotel and Hotel Monaco, which is brand spanking new. And walking distance to the freakin’ Liberty Bell.

And yes, it’s traditional. Which isn’t trendy on the wedding blogs these days. But ya know what? Bob the Builder and I were never going to get married in an old barn and let our guests sit on bales of hay and drink out of mason jars. I am from the city, peeps. I don’t do farms. So, Traditional it is. But, still fun. Because it’s us. And we have a few surprises up our sleeves!

Just in case you forgot what the Liberty Bell looks like. It looks like this.

And this is the place that made MoxieDad whisper to me, “I think this is the place!”

He is correct.

This is our place. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Saturday, October 12th, 2013.

One thing down, eleven million more to go…

 

UPDATE: If you’re looking for info on Cescaphe’s takeover of The Down Town Club, you should go here and here.

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