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253 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA

4157963757

Solutions for private events of under 40 people: a downtown San Francisco venue, event services, and a sharp collection of rentals.

Baby Shower Brunch

Baby Shower Brunch

 

you glow, girl

Cookhouse's natural beauty and versatility makes it ideal for a baby shower brunch, whether super casual or pinkies-out fahncee, ladies only or co-ed.

Here are some things to know in advance to help you plan your upcoming celebration!


Decorations

Cookhouse is a blank slate, ready for your creative ideas! Fill it with flowers, pick some bright linens, assemble crafting/game stations, or create a backdrop for an easy DIY photo booth.

Banners, streamers, balloons, etc. are all ok. We have tape and scissors if you need them. Remember to take tape off of the wall when you're done - since the tape is clear, it'll be hard for us to see. We just ask that you take care not to damage our furniture, fixtures, walls, floors, or other property. If excessive or professional cleaning or repair is required, we'll need to pass along the cost to you. 

Candles aren't usually the first thing most think of when planning a daytime event, but you are still welcome to use ours. Oil-wick candles are included and onsite, and we have a lighter you can use.  They look positively decadent during the day.

Want to go for the bare minimum? Bring in some flowers from the market! We've got vases you can use.

We also have florists, stylists, and stationers we can recommend who are familiar with Cookhouse, and we can send you diagrams so that you can work with them using an illustration of the furniture layout (which can determine the number and sizes of the vases, menus, etc.).

 


Food & Beverages

You're welcome to bring your favorite caterer or chef, or cook with your friends! This is a kitchen with all residential equipment, pots, and pans, so there isn't anything that needs special instruction to use (well, maybe except the steam oven).

Don't know where to start for food? Think about your food budget per person. If $75+, you can hire a caterer/chef and staff and servers. If under that, you could have a caterer drop off the food, which you can warm if needed, and transfer to our platters. If you're not sure, feel free to schedule a 10-minute brainstorming call with one of our team, or email us to get invited to a Open House where we can show you past menus for inspiration.

We've got plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for the mother-to-be to choose from. Make sure that you provide a full and substantial meal (that is, not just crackers and cheese, or cupcakes and candy) if alcoholic beverages are being consumed.


Gifts

Opening gifts can be a fun part of the shower.  If you want to collect gifts in a certain area of the room, some popular spots are on the bar directly facing the entryway, on a separate table set aside for gifts, and on the bookshelf next to the stairs. 

Gift wrap and boxes create a lot of bulky waste, so if you're opening gifts during the event, you can consolidate them to make it easier to load them into your car to bring home and leave the boxes/bags/gift wrap to us. Can we ask just one favor? It would be a shame to send all this lovely paper waste to landfill. Put it all in a box or bag and let us know which one (if it isn't obvious), so that we can more easily separate for recycling and compost.

If you are giving away party favors, make sure they are close to the entry/exit, so that guests don't overlook them!


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Layout

It's bright and sunny in here! Especially during the summer, when direct sunlight comes in through the skylight. Reception-style layouts (plenty of seats, but minimal tables for greater floor space) are lovely given this amount of natural daylight. You can of course still have a seated brunch, though we'd recommend a more casual layout with scattered smaller tables so that guests are encouraged to move around and mingle with more friends. If you'd like a seated brunch at a single long table, just be aware that guests may be sitting in the sun for a while, and perhaps bring sunglasses!

If it's a very hot day, we can turn on some fans to circulate air (even on the quiet low setting it helps), and open the windows. 


Photo: Nanette Wong

Cleaning Up

When your reservation is finished, feel free to leave the clean-up to us! We are ok with popping balloons, sweeping confetti, and separating for compost & recycling. Just make sure you take with you any equipment or items you'll want to keep, as we are very limited on storage space and generally don't keep leftover items after an event.

Florists usually include the price of the vases in their quotes so that you and your guests can take the arrangements home to enjoy.


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A few more helpful hints

We hate to waste food! Feel free to ask for our to-go containers for your leftovers so that you and your friends can take food home. We keep them in the office.

A/V is included. Just plug in your device! We have video and audio adaptors for iPhone and Macbooks, and the cable is VGA which is compatible with many PCs, but bring your own adaptor if your laptop or phone is a little more unique. Regarding video or slideshows, we have a great big projector and screen, though sometimes on very bright days it can be hard to see - make sure to use large fonts for text and contrasting colors.

Please make sure to budget in time for loading in, decorating and prepping, and loading out.

Are other friends or event vendors helping you to coordinate the shower? Do share our terms and planning resources with them, so that everyone's on the same page - this will avoid surprise situations the day of your event and help it to run smoothly.

Need some help with ideas?  See what others have done here.