Baby Showers

Co-ed Baby Shower at a Bar/Restaurant - cash bar ok?

Hi ladies! My sister is throwing us a coed shower in early June at a super cool new bar/restaurant nearby; it's very vintage-y/speakeasy style, and it will be on a Sunday afternoon from about 1 to 4pm or so. We're super excited for it!

But I have a question: is it tacky/bad form to have a cash bar? I thought it would be ok since it *is* a baby shower, and on a Sunday afternoon, if people decide to have a drink beyond what is being provided (soft drinks, coffee, tea, and tons of appetizers), then that's up to them.

But what do you think?! TIA! 

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Re: Co-ed Baby Shower at a Bar/Restaurant - cash bar ok?

  • I think it's fine to have guests buy alcohol if they want it, since food and other drinks are provided. Alcohol isn't necessary anyway. 
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  • I think a cash bar is tacky. You don't need an full open bar but at least offer wine, sangria or something. This may be regional like cash bars at weddings. If I went to a party and had to buy my own drink, I'd be judging majorly. 
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  • FemShepFemShep
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    I normally side eye cash bars, but I think this is a different case.  Since it's not an event where alcohol would normally be served (or would reasonably be expected) and you're providing non-alcoholic drinks, I wouldn't worry about it.  I also wouldn't call any attention to it-if someone asks, or orders an alcoholic drink, simply have the server say they are available at the bar.
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  • If the bar/restaurant is open for business when you are there, you can't really help if the bar is open or not, right? That doesn't seem exactly like having a cash bar at a wedding (ew); more like there happens to be a bar in the vicinity. If you rented out the place, however, just for your baby shower, then I would either have the bar closed or be willing to pay for the drinks, just so you/your sister doesn't look cheap.
  • I think that is perfectly fine. I wouldn't expect alcohol to be provided at a mid-afternoon shower.
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  • I think it would be perfectly fine to have a cash bar.  It is a baby shower, not a wedding, so it wouldn't even be expected for the host to provide alcoholic drinks. 
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  • IMO, anything at a party should be provided by the hosts. Can she not swing wine and beer?
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  • Is the place primarily a restaurant or primarily a bar?  If it is primarily a restaurant and you are providing food and other drinks, i would not expect you to pay for my alcohol.  I think a cash bar is perfectly acceptable.


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  • Thanks for weighing in, everyone!

    It's really split pretty equally between a bar & restaurant. People come for drinks after work, then stay for dinner, and others come for dinner then move to the bar.

    It's normally not open during the afternoon - however their older, more established sister bar/restaurant upstairs *is* open all day - so we'll have the place to ourselves. 

    I think she's going to see we they can do maybe a wine and beer or two, and maybe a bloody mary or something as an open bar, and then if people want anything beyond that, that can be cash. Good compromise?

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  • image MrsAussieToBe:

    I think she's going to see we they can do maybe a wine and beer or two, and maybe a bloody mary or something as an open bar, and then if people want anything beyond that, that can be cash. Good compromise?

     That sounds like a really good compromise to me.


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  • image I Heart The 80s:
    I would not do a cash bar. I think they are very tacky. If someone is hosting a party, they need to host a party (that includes drinks and food). 

    But she is providing drinks and food. There just happens to also be the option to buy alcohol on the premises.  

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  • I think it's okay if it's not in the same room.  Meaning, if you have a seperate room where the food and drinks are and people have to go to another room to get booze, then it makes sense.  If however, they walk up to 1 counter and Pepsi is paid for, but a Budweiser isn't, then that seems a little weird to me.  But that's me.
  • image DelBride2012:

    image I Heart The 80s:
    I would not do a cash bar. I think they are very tacky. If someone is hosting a party, they need to host a party (that includes drinks and food). 

    But she is providing drinks and food. There just happens to also be the option to buy alcohol on the premises.  

    This is how I see it. Alcohol is never a necessity, at any function, honestly. Our wedding reception was dry because of numerous alcohol problems on each side of the family so we had an early reception to allow everyone to do what they wanted with their mid/late afternoon and evening. All food and other drinks were provided.

    Especially for a baby shower, alcohol is not a necessity. I went 25 years without touching alcohol and DH has never drank. It's a little unfortunate that it's seen as something that is required at all times. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone wanting a drink, but I don't think it's a problem to have guests buy their alcoholic drinks AS LONG AS all other beverages (not just water) and all food items are provided. 

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  • eav2ceav2c
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    If the bar is set up specifically for the party... Very tacky. If its just there and open normally... Not tacky.

     

    You should only provide what you can afford. If you can't afford it, don't have it. 

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  • I would offer wine or mimosas or something.  I wouldn't be offended by a cash bar for a baby shower though. 
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  • ccamccam
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    image eav2c:

    If the bar is set up specifically for the party... Very tacky. If its just there and open normally... Not tacky.

     

    You should only provide what you can afford. If you can't afford it, don't have it. 

    I agree with this.  I normally think cash bars are tacky, for weddings and such.  But if you're having a party, and there happens to be a bar in another part of the restaurant, I don't think it's a big deal.  I personally would provide at least wine or beer, but if people really want a drink - they can make their way to the bar. 

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  • Here's my thing- a regular "women's only shower", I wouldn't expect alcohol and wouldn't think to order any.

    However, if it was a co-ed shower, to me, that means more of a party than a shower.  And as such, yes, I'd be more on the side of "expecting" some kind of alcohol.  That doesn't mean open bar - but I would provide something.  Wine and beer, perhaps. 

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  • Since the party is at an actual bar, I would probably expect to be served alcohol.  Can you maybe include wine or sangria in with what you're providing, or mimosas and bloody marys if it's brunch time?  Then if people want something other than that, they can pay for it themselves. 

    Or if I'm misunderstanding and the place is really more of a restaurant that happens to have a bar, then I think it's fine to include regular drinks and have people pay for their own alcohol.

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  • I've been to several showers - both baby and bridal - that had cash bar. I don't see anything wrong with it, not everyone wants to drink alcohol on a Sunday afternoon. 
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  • Cash bars are always tacky. If it's a mid afternoon shower, I would suggest having mimosas/sangria.. That way you've provided a subtle alcohol option... IF they feel the need for something stronger, then they're absolutely able to go to the bar and order it, but at least you provided them with an option.
  • image Ash&Baby T:
    Cash bars are always tacky. If it's a mid afternoon shower, I would suggest having mimosas/sangria.. That way you've provided a subtle alcohol option... IF they feel the need for something stronger, then they're absolutely able to go to the bar and order it, but at least you provided them with an option.

     I just wanted to mention that it's not OP who will or won't be providing alcohol, it's the hostess, her sister. It seems... wrong... for OP to say, "you also need to buy all my friends alcohol." As long as you're in a space away from the bar and everyone has food and beverages, I don't think the presence of the option to wander over to the bar and buy alcohol is rude. 

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