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Say “I Do” at Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar

Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar Wedding Decor

Here’s a thought for your Wine Country wedding: add some Sonoma County history to the celebration. With many local landmarks dating back to the 1800s, the venue you choose can help set the stage for a memorable gathering, since the spot boasts a story all its own.

Consider Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar, tucked away in the charming, tiny town of Occidental. On the brink of its 75th birthday, the restaurant and lounge is one Occidental’s legendary pioneers. It’s still family owned, as it has been since Joe and Theresa Negri opened it on the Bohemian Highway in 1943.

Negri’s is best known for its satisfying classic cuisine in big portions at low prices. Yet these days, those same dishes — first-rate minestrone soup stocked with homemade noodles, polenta, and herbed meatballs smothered in Bolognese with peppery arugula and shaved Parmesan — can be enjoyed as sit-down or buffet wedding reception fare.

Taking over the restaurant’s private, 1,600-square-foot banquet room, wedding couples can choose a décor theme, menu, and options like dancing and a DJ set-up. Parties can accommodate up to 300 guests.

And in a modern twist, besides Sonoma County wines and beers, guests can sip signature craft cocktails created by Joe and Theresa Negri’s granddaughter Amanda Negri.

“It’s all custom. We don't offer packages with photography and such, but we can coordinate anything a couple wants,” Amanda said. “Guests particularly love our homemade pastas, and vegetables from our family farm.”

The storytelling is free. That means tales about Sonoma County’s origins for Italians especially, when, starting in the 1870s, Italians arrived in Occidental and surrounding areas, to work in lumber mills, railroads, tanneries and quarries. Within a decade, the immigrants had developed a “Little Italy” in Santa Rosa, and within another decade, the industrious folks were running successful hotels, restaurants, and wineries that still thrive today.

Details: Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar, 3700 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, 707-874-0301

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