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Pop Up Dinner Party under the Golden Gate Bridge

The hardest thing about living in San Francisco is that people are always leaving you. Our good friends Christian and Brooke are moving away and Brooke mentioned she wanted to do some sort of special party for their friends. We talked it through and decided on doing a 20 person pop up dinner party on the beach under the Golden Gate Bridge. I have never done a dinner party outside for that many people (see my first dinner right here) so I called in for reinforcements. I asked my genius friend Andrea Pimental to do the food and so I just had to worry about logistics (ie: carrying tables and 20 chairs, and dinnerware all the way down to the beach.) It was a pretty epic party and a really special night. The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, and it consoled our broken hearts a little to be able to toast our friends and say goodbye.

We held the party at Kirby Cove. We rented a picnic spot for the day which gives you permits for four cars. We had guests park at the top and then shuttled people back and forth down to the beach. Brooke’s sister Kelly chose the tablecloth to match the Golden Gate Bridge (it was perfect) and did the flowers and Brooke and Colleen made these photobooth favors for all the guests. They were little boxes with macarons and then they copied a photobooth photo they had and tied it around with twine. So clever, right?

Read more for more details and photos.

I rented the tables and chairs and dinnerware and then Paul helped me take it all down to the beach. We planned dinner around the sunset at 7pm. Paul and I arrived at 4:30pm and we had a few friends arrive early at 5:30 to help with set up. Everyone else arrived a little after 6pm so they would have some time to take in the view before it got too dark.

The food was amazing and honestly I couldn’t have done an event this big without Andrea handling all the food. The menu was seafood themed. The appetizer was a crab cheesecake, then the soup was a roasted corn and coconut chowder (Andrea brought it hot in an insulated cooler.) The salad was zucchini and prosciutto and the main course was a salmon pot pie she kept hot in a cooler. For dessert she served an almond cake with honey buttercream frosting and fruit.

For lighting this time we just had a lot of led candles and then brought some flashlights for clean up time. Cleaning up a party like this is a lot easier than setting up because there are more hands to carry chairs back when it is time to clean up. Since we had a lot of people helping with the food and preparations the costs for this dinner were surprisingly affordable. It was a really beautiful night and it makes me want to try something on a bigger scale again. (Read here for more pop up dinner parties.)

Goodbye Brooke and Christian, we love you and come back soon.

All photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

  1. Lynda Pearson

    September 21, 2012

    It looks wonderful but it would be even more wonderful if you posted the recipes. The cheesecake sounds wonderful, the almond cake with honey buttercream looks indescribable and of course the little salmon pot pies…. Yup it would be great to cook these up.
    Recipes please!

  2. Kelsey

    September 22, 2012

    Wow, this is really cool, but I wanted to share it and got the smartwater quiz. I wanted to comment and got the smart water quiz. Super annoying. I love your site but, smart waters got me bummed.

  3. Översättningar

    September 23, 2012

    What a wonderful idea and what a view!
    Linda

  4. Steph

    September 23, 2012

    I love these posts. I’m so inspired to do a party like this! The photos are amazing. Love the one of the bridge through the wine glass!

  5. Tasha

    September 23, 2012

    Fantastic blog Jordan. I love your pop up parties! You said you rented a picnic spot. Do you need a liqour license too or does renting the spot include that?

  6. özlem

    September 23, 2012

    what a nice place for dinner.

  7. Bellenza Bistro

    September 25, 2012

    Dreaming of styling something like this for bridal shower or engagement dinner inspiration. So fabulous!

  8. how2home

    September 25, 2012

    This idea is too perfect! Love these pop up dinner parties :) Great post!

  9. Chelsea

    September 27, 2012

    If you’ve ever seen the documentary “The Bridge”, the Golden Gate Bridge becomes ever so macabre. I would have thought this was the most wonderful idea pre-viewing, but now…I’m just perpetually disturbed!

  10. Allison

    September 29, 2012

    Love this! Do you tnk Amanda would be willing to share the recipes? This looks like such a great party menu!

  11. Paps

    October 1, 2012

    Wow what a great party. I would love to host something like this.
    http://www.thoughtsofpaps.com

  12. Mrs Average Bride

    October 2, 2012

    I LOVE this idea. I’m trying to get ideas for my hubby’s bday and this is an amazing idea. Thanks for sharing!

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