The Nightwood Society (2218 NE Broadway), a full-service Portland event space run by a cabal of badass lady creatives, gets that half the fun of a party is hanging out in the kitchen. That’s why many of the special events they dream up in their homey-chic Northeast chamber, decorated with hanging boughs and oddball curios, have evolved to include hands-on activities, from sausage-making to oyster shucking. Let the flour fly as Nightwood chef Sarah Schneider helps your squad roll its own pasta, punctuated by glasses of bubbly and plenty of noodle fails.
Then gather at the space’s long dinner table for a family-style feast centered on your handiwork and adorned with veggies grown by the collective’s own farmer. Cooking parties run around $135 per person from groups of 10 to around 40—wine, apps, dinner, and room fee included. Got your own idea for a bash? The team will work to make it happen in its big main space (72 seated, 150 cocktail) or more intimate Parlour space, taking care of everything from eats to décor and flowers by the collective’s “floral ninja.” (“You don’t have to talk to anybody else but us,” jokes Leah Scafe, Nightwood's “director of experience.”) Just make sure you request the house dip for your menu.
It’s so popular at events it has spawned a Nightwood staff T-shirt that reads: “Bitches Love Hummus.”