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What is The Penny?

Situated in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, The Penny is a unique event venue featuring an open floor plan with an industrial indoor space + outside courtyard. Available for weddings, receptions, parties, corporate events, photo shoots, production and workshops, The Penny offers flexible rental availability.

Constructed in the 1930’s to house a blacksmith shop, the building's historic aesthetic showcases original architecture, exposed brick, and industrial finishes with modern fixtures and decor. It's name, The Penny, is a nod to the craftsmanship that has taken place within these walls for close to a century.

San Luis Obispo's only large, mixed-use event space of its kind, The Penny's central location offers walk-ability to all of downtown's best new hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Owners Tinker Tin Co, Sidecar Cocktail Co, and Heather and Mike Spangler have combined their extensive event expertise, passion for preserving storied history, and a keen eye for design to create an exceptional customer experience.

Do I need to book a tour to see the venue?

Yes, we do require that all potential guests pre-book a tour with one of our team members. Seeing as we do a variety of events throughout the year, we’ll want to make sure the space is open for viewing & that there is someone here to give you a guided visit & answer any important questions you may have! Please email to schedule a visit.

How many guests can the venue accommodate?

With over 3,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space, The Penny can accommodate a variety of different set-ups. As a general estimate, we can accommodate up to 125 guests for an indoor seated dinner, 90 for an outdoor luncheon, and up to 300 for a combined indoor/outdoor cocktail style event. These numbers all depend on the specific needs of each event (Space for DJ, Dance Floor, Cocktail Tables, Buffet vs. Plated meal, etc…) Our Venue Manager can work with you to determine what will fit best for your individual event.

The Penny SLO Layout Plan

What are the operating hours?

Monday - Thursday: Flexible hourly rates (hour minimums apply)

Friday/Sunday: AM & PM options available

Saturday: 14 hour rental

We do require that all events end by 10:00pm, and are fully broken down by 11:00pm. All rental items and decor must be removed from the event space by 11:00pm on the night of the event. Failure to clean/pick up all items could result in loss of your original security deposit. Only the Venue Manager can make special exceptions for rentals picked up the next day (based solely on availability, and may include an overnight storage fee).

Am I required to have an Event Coordinator?

For certain events - Yes. To ensure the success of your event The Penny management requires a professional coordinator/planner for all weddings; along with non-wedding events larger than 100 guests. The Penny is also excited to offer in house planning options. We offer packages ranging from Day of Coordinator to Full Service Planning, Design & Coordination. Our in house planning packages have been designed to suit a variety of events and budgets, with options ranging from corporate meetings to high production weddings. For more information, please contact the Venue Manager.

We also have a list of other fantastic local planners/coordinators we are happy to recommend. You are welcome to hire a planner not from the provided list, however as with all vendors, these planners must be approved by the Venue Manager at least (60) days prior to the event, and we reserve the right to deny any vendor that does not meet our standards.

Can I bring in my own decorations?

While we encourage all guests to put their own signature stamp on each event, we do care greatly about the condition of our property, and therefore have specific rules as to what can be affixed to the space. Nothing may be nailed, stapled, or glued onto any portion of the indoor/outdoor venue. While confetti may be fun, it's no fun to clean up! We ask that you leave the confetti, rice, glitter & bird seed at home. Sparklers are strictly prohibited. As a rule of thumb, please give your Venue Manager a run down of any items you are looking to bring so that they can be approved ahead of time.

What is the alcohol policy?

The client (that's you!) is responsible for providing the beer, wine & liquor for all events. While you are responsible for providing the product, all bar services must be operated by a fully licensed bartender and/or caterer. The Penny is pleased to offer fully licensed, insured and highly experienced bar services through its sister company Sidecar Cocktail Co. Sidecar Cocktail Co’s brick & mortar restaurant has become the Central Coast’s go to destination for high quality craft cocktails served with a genuine spirit of service. Last call is always 30 minutes before the scheduled end of the event, with bar closing 15 minutes prior.

If a client does not wish to use our in-house vendor, the following policies apply:

- Client must pay a $250 “opt out” fee

- Client must choose from our list of approved bar service caterers who hold proper licensing and insurance.

What kind of insurance is required to hold an event at The Penny?

We require that all clients obtain day of liability insurance of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000), naming Bootstrap Union, Inc as additionally insured up to (60) days prior to the event. This can sometimes be done through your homeowner’s policy, and is also available through our insurance provider, our venue manager can walk you through the process if you decide to go through us. The cost for such a policy is typically between $150-300.

Where can my guests park? Is there a fee?

The Penny is located in Downtown San Luis Obispo and does not include on-site parking. Because of its location, there is limited metered street parking as well as several parking structures nearby. For large events we recommend providing transportation or utilizing Uber. Absolutely no vehicles can park in front of or alongside the venue property, so be sure to think ahead!

Who sets up and breaks down the event?

The only items that are set-up and broken down by The Penny, are those that were exclusively ordered through the venue. Set Up & Take Down is the the responsibility of your Event Coordinator and/or Caterer. All rental items and decor must be removed from the event space by 11:00pm on the night of the event. Failure to clean/pick up all items could result in loss of your original security deposit. Only the Venue Manager can make special exceptions for rentals picked up the next day (based solely on availability, and may include an overnight storage fee).

Is security required for events?

The Penny requires on site security for all nighttime events where alcohol is served. This service is to ensure the success of our events, the safety of guests, vendors, neighbors, and the proper treatment of our venue. This cost is already included in your venue fee, and The Penny will be responsible for booking this service. Most events need one staff member, some may require two at the most. The number of security staff is at the discretion of The Penny Venue Manager, and any additional security needs outside of a single individual will be discussed with the client at least (30) days from the event.

Do you allow smoking? What’s the policy?

This is a smoke free property, and there may be no smoking inside, or within 300 feet of the venue. San Luis Obispo law prohibits smoking from nearly all public places including indoor/outdoor areas frequented by the public (such as sidewalks, parking garages, restaurants, stores, and playgrounds). The violation of this rule will result in partial loss of the security deposit.

Can I bring my pets to The Penny?

Due to liability reasons, we do not allow pets on property at The Penny.

Where should our out of town guests stay?

There are countless hotels in SLO that are walking distance or less than a five minute drive from The Penny. Our venue manager will provide a recommended accommodations list upon request!

Do you have an area for the Caterer?

Yes, we do have an outdoor cooking area for your caterer to set up just outside of our 1930’s barn, there is also ample prep and storage space inside the service barn. Please note that all catering equipment will need to be brought in, as there are no built in tables or kitchen available. Please inform your caterer that The Penny does not have an on-site kitchen. It will be their responsibility to bring in all the necessary items to execute the meal. Please refer to the Venue Manager for any questions.

What is the Venue Fee? Are there any special deposits?

We offer a variety of rental options and pricing based on the event day and timeframes:

Monday - Thursday: Flexible hourly rates (hour minimums apply)

Friday/Sunday: AM & PM options available

Saturday: 14 hour rental

Our Venue Manager can provide you with more specific pricing based on your event date, time period and event needs. For a quote please fill out the form on our website Here (make hyperlink to contact page) and we will respond with more detailed information.

Non Refundable Deposit

A 50% non refundable deposit is required to book all events. Your event date will not be reserved until the deposit has been received.

Refundable Security Deposit

A security deposit is required for all events. Prices range from $500-$2000 depending on event type, headcount, date, etc. The Security Deposit is required no less than 30 days prior to event and refundable within 15 days of event given that there is no damage to property.

What is included with the venue fee?

Use of Industrial Indoor Space + Private Outdoor Patio + Catering Area

Tables (8ft x 30in banquet tables) + Chairs for up to ( 50 ) Attendees. *Additional available for rent for a total of 125 total seating

Mobile bar and industrial shelving

Full time Venue Manager available to assist with all planning your event

On-Site Event Manager

Outdoor Bistro Lighting

ADA Accessible Indoor Restrooms

Security (required for all events serving alcohol)

Approved + Preferred Vendor List

How late can my event end?

Due to city ordinance all events must end by 10:00pm, and be fully broken down by 11:00pm.

How late can I play music?

All amplified sound is required to end by 10:00pm, per the San Luis Obispo County noise ordinance. It is the guest’s responsibility to communicate this to their music vendors. Failure to do so will result in a partial loss of security deposit.

Do you offer Audio Visual Equipment and Services?

Yes! The Penny has a large assortment of Audio Visual equipment ranging from standard projectors/screens/microphones to the latest state of the art technology and on site AV tech services. Please inquire for a list of options and pricing.

Is there any special decor and/or services I can rent directly through the Penny?

We are proud to offer an extensive array of specialty rentals and services at The Penny. These include items like additional tables/chairs, curated lounge furniture, photo booth rentals, and bar catering services. Please inquire for a list of available add ons and pricing.

The Penny SLO Venue