Located just north of Detroit, Southfield quietly offers big-city amenities in the ease of a leafy suburb. Nearly 100 companies on the Fortune 500 list have offices here, and more Southfield residents work in computers or mathematics than 95 percent of the United States. Happily, there is no shortage of incredible event spaces to bring all those great minds together.
The 388-room Westin Southfield is situated just one block from the Civic Center and offers 25 separate spaces for groups of up to 450. With two floors of varied meeting spaces, free parking, a full-service restaurant and bar, plus a dedicated Executive Meeting Center, your event will be in good hands.
The Westin also includes perks for the health-conscious. For a small fee, guests can rent New Balance athletic shoes and apparel to work out during their stay. And the hotel partners with indoor air-quality experts to keep 15 of its guest rooms hypoallergenic for visitors dealing with asthma and/or allergies. In-room filtration systems remove air particles, while surfaces are treated to minimize bacteria growth.
Visitors will notice recent upgrades to the Westin’s rooms and suites, all of which were renovated in 2016. Each guest room received new furnishings, a fresh color palette and new Westin Heavenly Showers.
An excellent choice for groups of 50 or less is the Courtyard by Marriott - Detroit Southfield. “We love smaller groups who want to get out of the office and stretch their legs,” says Heather Harrison, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. Attendees will love the large windows and natural light in both meeting rooms. As a Platinum Partner of the Detroit Zoo, special packages can be arranged for groups, including behind-the-scenes tours.
The Courtyard offers 133 rooms and 14 suites. It provides free Wi-Fi, a fitness center and indoor pool, and many rooms with a courtyard access or view. There are two meeting rooms, each with 625 square feet of fixed meeting space. In season, an outdoor courtyard with a fire pit can accommodate up to 80 guests.
Skyline Club sits on the 28th floor of the Southfield Town Center and offers panoramic views of metro Detroit.
“Our board welcomes nonmembers to utilize our club’s private meeting space as a way of introducing them to all we have to offer,” says Richelle Tragge, the club’s membership director. The Oakland, Charlevoix and Petoskey rooms can be used individually or combined to accommodate groups from 10 to 40. The Renaissance room seats 70, while the Main Dining room and lounge seat 140 guests and offer a dance floor and bar. A concierge can also arrange reservations and luxury transportation for guests, and enclosed parking is complimentary.
Another full-service Southfield venue is the Silver Garden Events Center. The modernist glass-and-concrete building is organized into multiple spaces, says General Manager Ann Marie Mathews. The 8,000-square-foot Mystic Ballroom can welcome up to 500 guests for a seated meal; stained glass windows line the oval room and a large stage, screen and sound system are all built in. The Grande Ballroom’s large full-production stage has a fixed screen with overhead projection, motorized curtain, track lights and professional sound system. The Garden Room welcomes smaller groups with brick walls, large windows and bright lighting.
The Great Lakes Culinary Center is a popular space for smaller events. Erika Miller, the center’s event coordinator, describes its atmosphere as rustic chic. “We have one large room that can accommodate up to 180 strolling guests with polished cement floors, refurbished wood walls, hanging Edison light bulbs, an outdoor organic garden and an open kitchen concept,” Miller says. The center’s chefs frequently create farm-to-table experiences for groups of all sizes. Both indoor and outdoor seating options are available.
Tapestry has served Southfield since 2000 and welcomes groups of up to 200 guests. The banquet hall includes a dance floor and tapestries line the walls. The large menu includes options like pork loin stuffed with apricots and currants or beef sirloin served with cognac cream sauce and mushrooms. Room rental, linens, table and coffee service are all included in the per-person price.
The newly renovated Regency Manor & Banquet Center is a luxurious event space that offers multiple spaces to accommodate groups from 75 to 420 guests. Elegant touches include crystal chandeliers, granite floors, draping and crown molding. The Executive Ballroom includes a bar, while the Royal Ballroom boasts a dance floor and bar, and the Regency Grand combines all the spaces for an especially memorable occasion. A lower-level lounge holds up to 200 guests.
Take a Taste
Meriwether’s is a perennial Southfield favorite dining location with locals and visitors alike, says Charlene Gulliford, regional director of Muer Seafood Restaurants. The seafood restaurant is modeled on an English Country Inn, right down to the lookout tower. “Visitors will love the famous Teacup Bread, served with honey-cinnamon butter,” Gulliford says. Groups from 10 to 100 are welcomed at Meriwether’s, and threecourse meal packages can be tailored to individual tastes.
The award-winning Bacco Ristorante is an elegant choice for group dining. The restaurant offers a luxury dining area called Bacco Saletta, which seats 55 guests. The stone walls, dark wood and striking wine cellar all evoke a mood of warm opulence. A separate kitchen and private table service ensure that your group will never be an afterthought. The main restaurant seats 105 guests and the patio can welcome up to 70 people. Jared Gorback, Bacco’s general manager, says some favorite menu offerings include Salsiccia, a housemade pork sausage with roasted hot and sweet peppers and served with grilled bread. Or try Branzino, Mediterranean sea bass served with roasted tomato, olives, capers and potatoes. Custom party menus, wine pairings, even flowers and entertainment can all be arranged through the restaurant.
For a lively atmosphere and top-notch soul food, Beans & Cornbread is the place. This popular restaurant offers classic southern food, vintage soul music and private dining. The Red Velvet Room offers groups of up to 50 a separate entrance, an excellent built-in A/V system and cool nightclub ambiance. Signature martinis, wine and full bar service are available. Since opening in 1997, this restaurant has welcomed its share of celebrities, including Common, Emeril Lagasse, the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin.
Finally, there’s Sweet Lorraine’s Café and Bar. “We are considered an institution in the Detroit area, having served millions of residents and travelers in the past 32 years,” says Gary Sussman, the restaurant’s general manager. Two colorful private dining spaces are available for groups from 12 to 75. Groups of 15 or fewer are welcome to order from the restaurant menu, while larger groups can create a custom three-course menu. Choose from entrees like the SLC Strip Steak, smothered in garlic butter and Portobello mushrooms, or the Rainforest Tilapia accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and tomato olive relish. Full bar service is also available.