Old Sacramento Wedding Venue
1112 Second Street
Old Sacramento, California 95814
When those scorching Valley days begin—along about May—everyone heads for a favorite oasis. None is cooler, greener, or leafier than the sprawling brick patio at the back of The Firehouse, the Gold Rush era landmark restaurant where Sacramentans have dined, politicked and gotten married for over 50 years.
Built in 1853, it’s located in the heart of the old riverfront historic district and really did house Engine Company No. 3, which stabled its horses in what is now the wine cellar. The Firehouse opened as a restaurant in 1960, with the owners scouring the Central Valley and Sierra foothills for antique furnishings. It offers seven cool Gilded Era dining and reception areas with 12-foot ceilings, mahogany wainscoting, ornate mirrors, and massive paintings of grande dames and friskier ladies.
Most popular for weddings is the Courtyard, the al fresco dining area that’s won local awards for “best special occasion” and “best outdoor” dining. Enter through the narrow 19th-century alley at the back of The Firehouse and you really do feel transported to another place and time: The wrought-iron balconies, ivy-covered brick walls, fountains, and canopy of mulberry and Chinese elm trees feel more like New Orleans than Sacramento. With lights laced through the overhanging branches, it’s magic on summer nights.
Guests seated in the Courtyard dine on California nouveau continental cuisine accompanied by selections from the 25,000-bottle wine cellars, the largest in the Valley. Decoration here is simple—perhaps just some flowers. “If you didn’t add anything extra, it’d still be spectacular,” says Mario Ortiz, General Manager, Sommelier and 41-year employee of The Firehouse, though he recalls one outside event planner who created a “Wedding in Paris” theme with a canvas Eiffel Tower. Bring in a band, orchestra or DJ, and you can dance out here, too.
Larger wedding parties spill over into the adjacent Courtyard Grill, a garden-like room under a Tiffany-style glass dome with a long bar, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a massive fireplace used on cool harvest nights. This space can also be used by itself for small events.
Some weddings and the ubiquitous Capitol fundraisers, receptions and banquets are held in the Golden Eagle Room and adjoining Salon. Or, guests can thread their way past an iron grille door and down a narrow staircase into a pair of small, immaculate banquet rooms known as Wine Cellars I and II.
The Firehouse has long been a draw for politicos and celebrities, with Ronald Reagan holding both of his inaugural dinners here, and Mayor Kevin Johnson a recent guest. It’s become a pilgrimage site for tourists who wander through with cameras, trying to capture the rich mélange of Gold Rush memorabilia, rococo chandeliers, bare brick walls and long, gleaming bars.
Out-of-town visitors will enjoy the ambiance of the building itself, as well as the bustling boardwalks and horse-drawn carriages out front. And its location in the heart of downtown Sacramento makes it easy for everyone to find. So if you want to combine Old World elegance with a rambunctious history lesson and a magical walled garden, The Firehouse has it all.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Courtyard holds up to 300 seated guests. Indoors, The Firehouse holds up to 120 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Courtyard holds up to 300 seated or 500 standing guests. Indoors, 7 banquet rooms hold up to 120 seated or 175 standing guests. Several configurations are available; call for details.
MEETING CAPACITY: The Firehouse can accommodate up to 200 guests seated theater-style.
A $750–1,500 deposit is required to reserve your date. A second payment of 50% of the food and beverage minimum is due 90 days prior to the event date, and the remaining 50% is due 30 days prior. The balance is due upon completion of the event. Rental fees range $0–1,500 depending on room rented and day and time rented. Meals range $22–56/person for the dinner menu and weekend day events. Tax, alcohol and a 20% service charge are additional. Check with the Special Events department for possible lower rates on Fridays and Sundays.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided, no BYO
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: CBA
Bride’s Dressing Area: CBA
Meeting Equipment: CBA, extra charge
Parking: large lots, valet CBA
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BBQ CBA
View: fountain, garden, landscaped grounds
Other: event coordination
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Smoking: outside only
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Year-round, daily. Weekend hours for courtyard use only are 11am–4pm and 6:30pm–midnight.