THE SUBURBS OF ST. PAUL MAKE FOR a perfect destination. Located in the backyard of our state’s capital, the ‘burbs provide proximity to city amenities, but also feature a more relaxed atmosphere. Check out a few of the many options available to planners just outside the Twin Cities area.
Situated just outside the urban core is suburban locale Mendota Heights. The suburb has a long and rich history. "This is no cookie-cutter city," says Justin Miller, city administrator. "This is a scenic place with spectacular views where people want to live that has a cool and fun vibe, while also being conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown or to the airport."
A popular venue for events in the area is the Mendakota Country Club. This Dakota County farmland was transformed into what is now the 18-hole golf course and 25,000-square-foot clubhouse. Event options include the Lakeside Dining Room, the Boardroom, the Evergreen Room and the Golfview Terrace for private parties, board meetings, seminars and more. "Our staff is dedicated to excellent customer service, whether it is for eight people or 350," says Jeff Klosner, membership director. "People become immersed in a made-to-order setting, where no detail is left to chance and memories are made."
If your taste is more on the eclectic side, then drop by the Mendoberri Café & Wine Bar, a true farm-to-table venue with European influences, a dash of Minnesota comfort food and a seasonal menu that has a blend of great culinary choices made with the freshest of ingredients.
"We wanted to take the concept of the neighborhood restaurant that would appeal to everyone," says Robert Ulrich, chef and owner. "Key to our success is educating our customers about where we get our ingredients and who our local partners are. This, coupled with our staff, contributes to the warm, welcoming and modern atmosphere." The restaurant’s personal approach can accommodate parties that are small and intimate to upwards of 100 people. Events can be customized to a client’s request or occasion.
Inver Grove Heights
Near the heart of the metro area is Inver Grove Heights. Conveniently located off Interstate 494 and U.S. Route 52, this suburb gives businesses, residents and visitors quick and easy access to the entire metro and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. "We pride ourselves on being right near the heart of everything, and our community is counted among the best of the Twin Cities," says Nicole Bengtson, director of Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Founded in the 1920s, Southview Country Club provides a variety of year-round options for banquets, corporate meetings, parties and community events. When booking a gathering of 10 to 300, there are six private rooms to consider with outdoor patio access and direct views overlooking the lush golf course. This locale features a menu created by an awardwinning culinary team, which is well suited to all types of foodies and served by a charming staff.
Owned and operated by Brandon Bramscher, B-52 Burgers and Brew is a laid-back and friendly eatery that serves reasonably priced fare from an American-style menu. "Dining at B-52’s is about having a delicious meal with family and friends," says Bramscher. Meetings can be easily organized for groups up to 30.
For people looking to hold an event overlooking the main channel of the Mississippi River, The Mississippi Pub is just the spot. Established in 1999, this family-friendly restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The two-tiered outdoor patio and all-glass indoor area are ideal for a variety of occasions from birthday parties to fundraisers and wedding receptions. This is where Mother Nature meets fun.
Woodbury, which is currently undergoing a study to decide whether or not a convention and visitors bureau is feasible for the suburb, boasts its own Central Park, a multiuse indoor park that was designed especially for the community. This unique location offers a broad selection of meeting spaces for groups ranging from two to 200. With an open-catering policy, the team at Central Park prides itself on partnering with top-tiered vendors that include audiovisual services, live music, food and beverages to ensure an unforgettable event.
There’s also David’s Chophouse, a locally owned, upscale bar and dining venue located inside Prestwick Golf Club. Parties of 140 can meet inside or an adjoining patio area can accommodate an additional 60 people on delightful days and nights. With a variety of signature beverages to accompany a delicious assortment of menu items, people can plan their next corporate meeting, retreat, celebration or holiday event in a breathtaking setting that makes you feel right at home.
"Woodbury’s unique facilities-such as the Bielenberg Sports Center, Central Park and Eagle Valley Golf Course-make it a great location for conventions, weddings, receptions, meetings and sporting events," says Jason Egerstrom, communications coordinator for the city. "Visitors also enjoy many opportunities for recreation, shopping and dining in Woodbury, the regional retail hub of the east metro area."
With unique restaurants, sprawling golf courses and many outdoor venues, these cities provide plenty of event opportunities. The suburbs are calling, so what are you waiting for?