Q. Can we preview your group menus and prices? A. Yes. Our Banquet Packet can be downloaded as a PDF from this site under the 'Menus' tab or 'Banquets/Request for Proposal'.
Q. What is your capacity for private parties? A. Our upstairs banquet rooms can accommodate up to 160 guests when booked together as one large space, or they may be booked separately. The Riva Room seats roughly twice as many guests as the Caliente Room, but otherwise the rooms are very similar. They are separated by a central foyer with sliding glass panel doors on either side.. Floor plans can be customized to incorporate the needs of each event and dance floors, etc. may impact capacity. The Caliente Room is ideal for groups of less than 50 and the Riva Room is perfect for groups of 50-100. The entire restaurant may also be reserved for large events, including our most coveted amenity, the deck, with 180 seats under the market umbrellas. The main floor indoor dining room has another 90 seats, bringing the total seated capacity for the restaurant to 420, in season.
Q. What is the cost to buy-out the restaurant? A. Buy-out minimums are established based on the sales history for the entire restaurant specific to the date, and for the time-frame we are closed to the public. This includes the set-up time. (Non-peak dates and times of year are going to have significantly lower minimums than summer weekend dates.)
Q. What are your room rental fees and minimums? A. We do not charge room rental fees. We have food and beverage spending minimums in place on Friday and Saturday nights and holidays. On all other dates there is a base minimum of $2,500 required to book the Caliente Room and $3,500 required to book the Riva Room. For a full restaurant buy-out, we have a $2,000 closure fee as well as a minimum quoted based on sales history on the date. We charge a ceremony fee and reception fee (each is $16.00 per person) for set-up and services specific to weddings. Linen is also included in our reception fee. A dance floor is $600.
Q. What charges are applicable to the room minimum? A. All hosted food and beverage charges and fees apply to the room minimum except the ceremony fee and closure fee (if applicable), service charge and tax. The subtotal of the final bill needs to meet the minimum (excluding the exceptions noted). If the subtotal is less than the minimum, a minimum fee will be charged to bring the sales to the minimum.
Q. Can the deck or pier be reserved? A. Our deck can only be reserved in the event of a full restaurant buy-out. The pier is public and we cannot close it. In warmer months there is a lot of boating activity that would interfere with an event on the pier. The narrow width of the pier makes it unsuitable for wedding ceremonies, but it is a great place for photos. In the off-season, the pier is a nice spot for an engagement or very small ceremony, but it is never guaranteed to be private or free of foot traffic or snow.
Q. Can we arrive by boat? A. Yes, one of the unique advantages to hosting an event at Gar Woods is the ability to make your grand entrance on a wooden boat or charter a larger yacht, catamaran or paddle wheeler and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail cruise on the lake. Many of our corporate clients transfer groups on a private sunset cruise from one of the nearby piers, including the Hyatt Pier in Incline Village or the Tahoe City Marina. Please inform us if you plan to arrive by boat so that we can alert our boat valet to reserve a space for you on our pier. If you are chartering a boat, please have a representative from the boat company contact us in advance to coordinate. We also request that the captain call us prior to departure to re-confirm the expected docking time.
Q. Do you have facilities for outdoor ceremonies? A. Yes, we can reserve the large lawn area just east of our parking lot and above the beach for wedding ceremonies. Depending on the water level of the lake, we can also hold ceremonies on our beach cove just west of the pier. Currently, only small ceremonies will fit on the beach.
Q. Is alcohol allowed on the pier, lawn or beach? A. No, our liquor license does not permit alcoholic beverages to be taken off premise (outside of the restaurant or deck).
Q. How much is the deposit required to secure a date? A. 25% of the estimate of charges. As a courtesy, we can tentatively hold a date without a deposit and offer you first right of refusal if another party is interested in booking the same date. We will only hold the date for 24 hours at that point.
Q. What is the deposit schedule? A. 25% upon booking, 25% 60 days prior to the date, and 25% 30 days prior to the date. At least 75% of the estimate is due in advance with the balance due at the conclusion of the event.
Q. Can I get an estimate of total charges? A. Yes, we are happy to provide an estimate if we know some of the details of what you are planning to host. In general, a Gar Woods wedding estimate formula is:
$ ____ $16.00 per person Ceremony Fee (optional outdoor or indoor ceremony- includes lawn, beach, or indoor site, set-up and chairs) $ ____ $16.00 per person Reception Fee (includes reception set-up, table preparations & linen) $600.00 Dance Floor Fee (required if there will be dancing) $ ____ Cost of Food (see Banquet Packet for hors d'oeuvre and meal prices) $ ____ Beverage Tab (to estimate, multiply the average price of drinks hosted by the estimated average number of drinks per person)
$ ____ Subtotal (needs to meet the minimum without including the ceremony fee) $ ____ 22% Service Charge (on subtotal) $ ____ 7.25% Tax, current rate as of January 2013 (on subtotal + service charge)
$ ____ Total
Q. How is the beverage tab handled? A. All beverages are billed on consumption. We do not offer bar packages. You may host a full bar with no restrictions or establish limits to the hosted tab. If your event has a minimum, you will want to make sure the minimum has been met before closing the beverage tab. If you are hosting wines by the bottle, please select the wines in advance so we have plenty of inventory on hand and the wine readily available for you upon arrival.
Q. Do you have a bar upstairs? A. We can offer a Wine & Beer Bar, Wet Woody Bar, or a Trader Vick's Mai Tai Bar upstairs with payment of a bartender fee. Otherwise, we keep your pre-selected wines upstairs in our server stations and suggest tray passing wine or our signature drink, the Wet Woody, upon arrival to expedite the first round (in combination with cocktail service provided by our servers from the main bar). Your guests will not need to go downstairs for drinks and we provide plenty of staff to maintain prompt and seamless beverage service.
Q. Do you offer menu tastings? A. Due to the large volume of events we host, we are not able to offer traditional complimentary menu tastings. (We probably have 150 parties or more per year.) We are a restaurant so we invite clients to dine with us prior to the event and order off the regular dinner menu, which features most of the entrees from the banquet menu. With advance notice, we can work with our chef to create sampler orders of appetizers, samples of the salads, and possibly have available entrees that are not on the full menu. Wines served by the glass and Wet Woodys (of course) may also be sampled at no charge.
Q. Do you have a bride's room? A. No, we are limited on space and ask that you arrive ready. The bridal party is welcome to wait in the reception room or in the downstairs bar prior to the start of the ceremony.
Q. Do you have A/V equipment? A. We have a cordless microphone system and flat screen smart TV's in each room with DVD players and HDMI connection in the back of the house. Each item has a $100 A/V fee and we recommend stopping by in advance to test your video on our system. Saving your video to YouTube is a great way to easily play it on our smart TV. We can also set up an amp and speakers for playlist music, but we do not recommend replacing the professional services of a DJ with music from an electronic playlist. We do not have a portable sound system for outdoor ceremonies.
Q. Can we have live music or a DJ at our event? A. Yes, musicians, bands and DJ's are welcome. Please let these vendors know that we do not have an elevator and to allow the extra time and manpower that may be required to load-in using the staircase.
Q. How early can our vendors arrive and how early can we access the room? A. Vendors should contact us in advance to determine the best time to arrive. The rooms may be booked or otherwise used for public dining prior to your event and cannot be guaranteed to be accessible more than 1-1/2 hours prior to your start time.
Q. How long can we have the room? A. We are a full service restaurant/bar and we stay open as late as 1:30 am. We do not otherwise restrict the number of hours for an evening event, although we encourage weddings to end on a high note. We require daytime events to vacate in time for evening bookings with 2 hours in between.
Q. Do you provide linen and centerpieces? A. Linen is included in the reception fee or available to non-wedding groups for $10 per table. For a more rustic look, tables may be left uncovered in their natural, light oak finish. We provide tall, clear hurricane oil candles with silver bases as centerpieces or you are welcome to bring in floral arrangements, votive candles or other table decor as long as it can be set up within our time constraints.
Q. How much decorating can we do? A. Room decor should be kept to a minimum due to the limited amount of time available for set-up. Our upstairs rooms have a rustic "old Tahoe" charm with knotty pine open beam ceilings, wicker and hickory chairs, and antler chandeliers, as well as a stunning lake view so extensive decorating is not usually necessary. Tacks, nails and sticky tape damage the wood finishes and are not allowed. For wedding ceremonies, bird seed, rice, confetti and silk flower petals are also not permitted.
Q. Can we bring our own wine or liquor? A. No, all alcohol must be purchased through the restaurant. We are sometimes able to special order wines or bottled beers that we do not carry as long as you commit to the number of cases that you have us order. Prices will be set at cost plus our regular restaurant mark-up. If you have a special bottle or two of wine or champagne that you have saved for your big day, you are welcome to bring it with payment of our corkage fee ($20 per 750 ml. bottle).
Q. Can we bring in an outside caterer? A. No, food must be prepared by our chef.*
Q. Do you make wedding cakes? A. No. *Wedding cakes are the only exception to the above policy. We charge $5 per person to allow outside dessert to be brought in. That fee is waived when a 3 course menu is selected that includes dessert and the Reception Fee is paid.
Q. Can your chef accommodate vegetarian or vegan requests or other dietary restrictions that our guests may have? A. Yes, our chef has daily vegetarian and vegan options that are verbally communicated by servers to guests that inquire. Our chef is also very accommodating with requests pertaining to dietary allergies and restrictions. Please provide any known dietary needs to us in advance, if possible.
Q. Are we able to rehearse before the wedding? A. Yes, rehearsals on the beach or lawn are fine the day before weddings, but we ask that you let us know and allow us to make sure there will not be a conflict at your desired rehearsal time. Note: Our maintenance grounds crew takes extra care to thoroughly clean the outside lawn and common areas on the day of wedding ceremonies, so if anything doesn't look perfect at the rehearsal it will be taken care of the day of the wedding.
Q. Are you able to store our cake or flowers in your refrigerator? A. Generally, no. We have very limited walk-in refrigerator space and cannot store anything more than the smallest cake or floral pieces. Anything we do store should be boxed and is at your own risk.
Q. Do you have air conditioning? A. No, as is typical in our area, Gar Woods does not have A/C. We have many large sliding doors and windows and enjoy a nice breeze off the lake on most summer evenings.
Q. What is your inclement weather plan if we have an outdoor ceremony planned? A. We can move ceremonies inside to our upstairs foyer (with a beautiful lake backdrop) and can offer seating on either side of the aisle for family, and other guests can fill in the two side banquet rooms and sit at either dining tables or in rows of chairs on the dance floor, depending on guest count and floor plan.
Q. Are we limited to the vendors on your list? A. No, you are not limited to our vendor list, but the list includes local professionals that we recommend.
Q. When is the final menu and wine order due? A. Final menu details and your wine order is due to us no later than two weeks out.
Q. Do you need advance menu selections from our guests? A. No, our servers will take orders on-site and our chef is prepared for any combination of orders that may come in.
Q. Can our guests order from the full menu? A. The chef requests that parties of 20 of more select a banquet menu. Small parties of 20 or less may order off the full menu.
Q. For plated meals, how many entree choices will our guests have and will you print our menu? A. For parties of less than 100 guests, your menu can have three entree choices. For parties of more than 100 guests, your menu can have two entree choices. At the bottom of the menu we add "Vegetarian Option Available" in addition to the choices described. We print custom menus for each event with a menu heading of your choice on card stock paper. For buffets, we print buffet signs to label the food.
Q. Do you offer a children's menu? A, Yes, children under 10 may order from our children's menu with a large selection of kid's favorites priced at $14. For buffets, children under 10 are charged half price, or they may still order from our children's menu..
Q. When is the final guaranteed guest count due? A. Seven days out. At that time, please provide us with the number of adults, children under 10, and vendors that will be served a meal. We will then send you a final Event Order for your approval and signature. This needs to be returned to us prior to the event.
Q. What percent above the guaranteed guest count are you able to accommodate? A. Typically 5%, but our chef is flexible. You will be billed for the guarantee or the actual number of guests if it exceeds the guarantee.
Q. How is final billing handled? A. Final payment is required at the conclusion of the event. We will provide an itemized bill as soon as the beverage tab is closed. The deposit credit will be reflected. 22% taxable service charge and the current tax rate will be added to the sub-total of your bill. Final payment can be arranged in advance with a signed credit card authorization form on file or payment can be made in person by credit card or cash. We do not accept checks for the final bill.
Q. When can we pick up any left-over items? A. Anything left behind may be picked up the next morning prior to lunch or the start of any scheduled events.
Q. For weddings... Do we need to hire a wedding planner or day-of planner? A. The following link addresses this question perfectly, http://kaylayestal.com/2016/03/24/day-of-coordinator/. We are not the author of the blog, but it is great advice on this topic! Of course, this may not be applicable to smaller, more casual weddings. We are happy to discuss your specific needs in more detail.