Capitola Wedding Venue
1750 Wharf Road
Capitola, California 95010
Shadowbrook is unlike any place we’ve ever seen and, truth be told, you can’t really see it until you’re actually in it. Almost completely hidden at the base of a steep, beautifully landscaped hillside, the site has a tantalizing aura of mystery and romance. We were intrigued. Instead of descending via the cable car, we walked down one of the winding garden paths through a riot of palms, ferns, colorful flowers, waterfalls and koi-filled ponds.
When we finally reached the restaurant, it proved to be quite remarkable. The building—originally built in the 1920s as a log cabin summer home—now consists of seven distinctly different rooms and three patios in tiers above Soquel Creek. Shadowbrook continues to be named “Most Romantic Restaurant” by various Bay Area publications year after year, and it’s easy to see why. The garden theme, so meticulously executed outside, is carried throughout the interior. Greenery is visible everywhere, from vines clinging to the ceilings in the Main Dining Room to the almost-100-year-old cypress growing through the ceiling of the Garden Room. And then there’s your choice of views: gardens, woods, the quietly flowing creek or all of the above.
Weddings have been held at Shadowbrook since the early 1950s, and the recently remodeled Rock Room is a sublime spot for a ceremony. While its massive wooden beams, impressive stone fireplace and stone walls convey a comforting sense of history, it’s the partially glass ceiling and wall that make ceremonies here truly magical. Through the glass everyone can watch the bride’s entrance as she walks down a garden path, framed by the gorgeous landscape. Outdoor ceremonies on the private Creekside Patio are also blessed by nature: Held at the water’s edge, they’re enveloped in a lush mix of ferns, flowers and coastal redwoods. At dusk, the surrounding treescape comes alive with twinkle lights that mirror the stars in the evening sky.
Every room at Shadowbrook has its own individual charms. The Fireside Room dates back to 1947, and the original stone fireplace, redwood walls, and Craftsman-style lighting fixtures preserve its rustic feel. A lovely choice for an intimate event is the Redwood Room, featuring redwood beams and wainscoting, and a sun-drenched brick patio next to the chef’s herb garden. The Owner’s Private Reserve Room will make you feel like you have the restaurant all to yourself, as a fire blazes in the river rock fireplace. Larger groups who still want a sense of privacy will appreciate the Wine Cellar Room, a redwood and brick room with a brick fireplace and a collection of fine wines on display. Last, but certainly not least, is the Greenhouse Room, which delights the senses with an abundance of plants and light. Windows along the entire length of the room afford a view of the creek, and open to let in fresh coastal breezes.
For decades people have been drawn to Shadowbrook for its incomparable ambiance, and now they have another reason to come: the food. Chef de Cuisine Roger Gowen utilizes regional products, organics and hormone-free meats to provide diners with consistently high-quality cuisine. Each menu is tailored to your tastes, and thanks to a talented on-site pastry chef, Robyn Wood, you can even order custom wedding and celebration cakes. It’s clear to us that the restaurant’s popularity has only increased its emphasis on customer service. As the Banquet and Events Manager says, “We’re more interested in having you tell us what you want, rather than us telling you what you can have.”
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Redwood Room patio accommodates up to 26 guests. The Creekside Patio and the Rock Room each accommodate up to 100 guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: For large events, wedding receptions or personal preference, you may reserve the entire restaurant (which accommodates up to 225 seated guests) when it is not open to the public. For rehearsal dinners and smaller social or business functions, you may reserve private areas or rooms within the restaurant. The Greenhouse Room holds 60 guests, the Wine Cellar Room 46, the Redwood Room 26, and the Owner’s Private Reserve Room 18.
For weddings and larger events, there is a facility fee of $2,500 for exclusive use and $500–1,500 for semi-private use. For smaller social or business events during regular operating hours, private room rental fees range $100–400 depending upon the size of the room. The deposit required to book most events is equal to the food & beverage minimum or the facility fee/room rental fee, whichever is higher. Three-course meals start at $40/person. Alcohol, tax and service charges are additional.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: in-house, no BYO (except for cake)
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: in lounge area
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Areas: yes
Meeting Equipment: PA, microphones, projection screen; other CBA for a fee
Parking: ample, complimentary
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: on patio and paths
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
View: Soquel Creek and gardens
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: in-house, or BYO with corkage fee
Smoking: patio only
Music: amplified OK indoors with volume limits; outdoors, acoustic only
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Other: no rice or birdseed
BYO w/ Corkage Fee
Daily, 9am–10pm. Earlier hours for business meetings can be arranged.