About this Vendor
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho
Host your storybook wedding with 100% of proceeds benefitting the homeless living with HIV/AIDS. This Soho bookshop resembles an Ivy League library with its spiral staircases, mahogany balconies, and rows of books. The Works Catering, also operated by Housing Works, serves amazing seasonal fare.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Ballroom, Library, Museum, Historic Venue, Loft
Food + Catering, Planning
We had our wedding at the Housing Works Bookstore on a Friday in Fall 2015. The whole event was absolutely perfect and magical. I received many compliments from guests on the bookstore: "it looked like a scene from Beauty and the Beast", "It's the most sophisticated and unique venue!", "The food was the best wedding food I've ever had!", and on and on. There are SO many fantastic things about having a celebration at the bookstore: - THE SERVICE: probably the single biggest aspect that wowed me about the Housing Works were the people I worked with! They were all talented, helpful, patient, fun, understanding, and exceptional to us. They made it happen. Their hospitality was truly amazing. - THE LOCATION! We made it a SoHo themed event: we took our bridal party and family pictures in the neighborhood, stayed at a nearby hotel, walked to and from the venue, etc. . Also, logistically, parking was not bad at all. Almost all guests found free street parking the night of! - THE VENUE itself is so interesting and unique. It is a far cry from the generic catering hall in Long Island. If you have a small flower/decorating budget, this is also a perfect place for you-- the books, the whole interior design of it is so rich, textured, elegant and beautiful that you don't need to do a thing in terms of decor to make the setting spectacular. We added some small flower arrangements to the tables and used extra votive candles on a small decor budget. Everywhere our guests looked, there was something interesting/beautiful to see. No bare walls here! It set the perfect setting for a wedding. - THE FOOD! I am really into fine dining, and every single dish at the HW was delicious and beautifully presented. We had several appetizers which were all well-crafted, and the seated salad and main courses were divine! They were prepared exceptionally well with high quality ingredients. ( I am the rare bride who tried all the food). I got numerous compliments when we got back from our honeymoon. An event at the HW gives for a sophisticated and elegant scene. It's beautiful, charming, and richly lavish without being tacky. We thought it was the perfect location for our wedding and allowed us to have a wedding that was a good reflection of us. I definitely recommend having a celebratory event here.
Love Housing Works!Reviewed on 5/23/2014
Housing Works is an amazing place to get married in New York City. Not only are they an extremely affordable option, but the staff is helpful and fun to work with. They are very accommodating to our needs, as we wanted a vegetarian wedding. Their staff made sure we got exactly what we wanted within our budget. The bookstore itself is a quirky and unique venue, and it is definitely a memorable location.
Elegant Intimate WeddingReviewed on 10/14/2012 Arlene M
Everything about my wedding at Housing Works Bookstore in Soho was absolute perfection. From the planning, to the group tasting, and the actual night. Nick the head waiter was amazing. Josh our event planner is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. The planning was easy and the atmosphere was romantic, intimate, and so different from usual catering hall weddings. All of our family and close friends RAVED about the delicious food, and extraordinary service. I highly recommend this venue if you are A. a lover of literature and philanthropic causes B. looking for a romantic wedding in a chic spot and C. tired of the usual catering hall weddings.
Phenomenal. The service and food was amazing. My guests loved the venue. Amanda and the rest of the staff were fantastic.
Amazing Wedding at Housing Works BookstoreReviewed on 10/27/2015 Lily M
This review is a little overdue, but my husband and I had the most AMAZING wedding reception (ceremony was nearby) at Housing Works Bookstore a little over a month ago - people are still raving about it! We worked with Amanda and Josh who were both so helpful from the very first meeting thru the night of. They made the process simple and were there to answer each and every one of our seemingly never-ending questions (sorry guys!). The space is absolutely beautiful. We had a total of 97 guests and it was a perfect fit that felt intimate yet full. Oh my gosh, the food. Unfortunately we missed our cocktail hour due to pictures, but the amazing staff at the Works Catering had saved a selection of the hors d'oeuvres we had chosen and gave them to us when we got settled - so awesome! My husband and I also had a "dedicated" server who kept checking in to see if we needed anything throughout the night, which was really nice! The rest of the food we choose was so fantastic and there was plenty of it. We have had so many friends and family rave about the food and atmosphere - I can't recommend Housing Works Bookstore enough for a wonderfully unique wedding venue.
so many of our guests complimented us on housing works!!!Reviewed on 10/27/2015
Though it was my wife who picked Housing Works as the venue for our wedding, I came around to accepting and loving it. The price was very competitive and surprisingly even a little cheaper than some venues in outer boroughs that are popular. Because Housing Works handles catering along with the venue, the food was one less thing we had to worry about when planning. They even include a tasting (a month or two before the wedding/reception) of almost all the food options you can choose from. It was fun building our menu! My wife and I loved every minute of our time during our wedding night. And maybe most telling, for a review, so many of our guests also had an amazing time and made it a point to tell us how awesome the venue and food were. The staff and everyone involved, both before and during, our wedding night were super nice and very helpful. Highly recommended!
Wonderful wedding party at Housing Works BookstoreReviewed on 10/27/2015 A M
From the moment we signed the contract to the last dance at our wedding reception, everything was handled beautifully by Amanda and Josh at the Housing Works Bookstore & the Works Catering. My husband and I loved the entire experience, as did our guests. Amanda and Josh were patient, knowledgeable, encouraging, flexible, and professional. It was a seamless process, and I can't recommend this venue enough. Also, the food and drinks are amazing. We opted for a cocktail-style party, and we had plenty of food for our guests, and there were plenty of add-on options as well. And, last but not least, the venue itself is gorgeous and adds a special something to your special day. I loved having our party in a different setting, especially one as gorgeous and unique as the Housing Works Bookstore. Overall, if you're looking for a unique venue but want experienced planners with fantastic follow-through, Housing Works Bookstore is the best option (and extremely affordable).
Simply The Best!Reviewed on 10/26/2015
Housing Works Bookstore is an incredible place to get married. Right from the first moment we met the coordinators, Amanda and Josh, we knew we were in very capable hands. They made everything so easy, took care of every, I mean EVERY last detail, and ensured we had the best night of our lives. They were so professional in all of their dealings with us, yet took the time to answer all of our questions and took into consideration our many requests. They did all this with such grace and warmth that we enjoyed the whole process, from the planning meetings, to the tasting, right up to the day itself with the ceremony followed by the reception. The venue itself looked amazing. It was so intimate and classy looking. All the people who were "Wait! You're getting married in a bookstore?!" were like "Wow! This is cool!" Housing Works recommended a phenomenal dj to us who made the night so much fun. The food was sensational. The decorations were splendid. The staff who worked that night were amazingly attentive. Everyone felt so wonderfully looked after and had such a good time. They all worked so hard and were so good at what they do that the wedding was flawless, and it left us free to simply have a wonderful time and enjoy our big night with family and friends. It was exactly what we wanted. I would wholeheartedly recommend Housing Works as a venue for your wedding!
Amazing Wedding VenueReviewed on 10/26/2015 Alison A
Working with House Works was the easiest part of our entire wedding. It was amazing to find a venue that contributed to a good cause. Amanda and Josh were a pleasure to work with. They were responsive, knowledgeable, and completely laid back. The food was really great and we loved that it was sustainably sourced. Our entire experience was excellent we could not recommend too highly.
So full of Love!Reviewed on 10/26/2015 Holly P
"A wedding, in a bookstore?" (-Yes, our relatives said that too.) There was no place that could have been more romantic, intimate and full of love than Housing Works Bookstore. Obviously there are limitations to a venue like this (Size, Capacity, Time...) but none impacted our overall experience. The staff is beyond attentive and kind. They made us feel as though they had everything under control. Housing Works is a beautiful venue full of love. PS. People STILL talk about the food!! Every single dish was delicious PPS. Weddings are expensive - but they don't have to be. Knowing we supported a charity by hosting our event at this venue was a wonderful feeling.
Spring WeddingReviewed on 10/26/2015
We worked with both Amanda and Josh during the planning process, and Josh was with us on the day of, and they both made the planning process incredibly easy and our wedding day stress free. Most of our communication was done through email, and were great about replying quickly. We had a few in person meetings, and they were good about making sure we understood each available package, and made sure we had a good understanding of the venue and how things would run. They really know what they're doing, and they also made us feel so comfortable going into wedding day. They really work with you and they brought such a personal experience during the planning, and they were both so relaxed and cool about everything. Even the servers were all so, so nice. We chose the Housing Works because we wanted our wedding to be a personal experience, not one of those typical giant wedding hall weddings with too much purple lighting and bad food. A huge draw of HW is that it's all farm to table and a changing menu depending on the season. We got a great sampling at their food tasting, which was an event in itself (cocktail hour & served dinner made it feel like a mini wedding). For our wedding, we did a buffet style dinner, and a large portion of the guests went up for seconds, that towards the end of food service, they ate everything only some of the vegetables were left over. We all know wedding food is typically terrible, but a lot of the guests were really happy with the food done by HW. We had a friend who went to HW for a wedding several months before our wedding, and they made it a point to let us know they were excited about eating at our wedding several months later. The venue itself is intimate, but large enough to move and dance. The lighting is moody, in a good way, and our photos looked amazing with all the books in the backdrop. The venue needs minimal decorating because it's just that pretty, so it was pretty easy to have a DIY wedding there. The venue is very affordable as well, which we appreciated, especially for where it's located. And a portion of the costs were donated through the venue to those living with homelessness and AIDS, and we appreciated that as well. The Housing Works is not your cookie cutter venue, and you will get individual attention if you host an event here, not just a wedding. You will love the food, and the preferred vendors (they recommended our DJ, James Mulry, who was also the absolute best), and you will just love the people as well. It was all just such a positive, happy, experience from stem to stern. They will leave you with nothing to worry about from the planning process and through the day of. They are completely thorough, professional, knowledgable, and just plain nice people.
Yes, this place.Reviewed on 10/26/2015
Yes to bookstores. Yes to bookstores that are non-profit cultural venues. Yes to bookstores that support folks living with HIV. We wanted and needed to make our wedding work without falling totally into the wedding industrial complex wormhole, and what Housing Works is and does was key to that. It's probably clear how beautiful and intimate the space is, so the images you've seen can speak for themselves. What is not visible is how profoundly good the folks at Housing Works were at: - being incredibly responsive, flexible, open, realistic and inventive about our menu, which we wanted to reflect Lower East Side Jewish culture, and which ended up tasting really good - keeping the process super streamlined, and handling everything from napkins to DJ tech conversations, and scheduling regular updates to confirm logistics including budget; this made things very easy to coordinate, even from several states away - being organized, friendly, professional, consistent, and a well-oiled competent party machine that helped make the day great
literally the best wedding possible in NYCReviewed on 10/26/2015
superbly friendly and amenable team. Guided us to build a superb wedding for 75 people in February. Cosy and intimate and very unique venue. The food was excellent as well!
Excellent venueReviewed on 10/26/2015
Housing Works was an incredible venue for our wedding. The setting was beautiful and unique. The chef was amazing, and our guests loved the food. The space is versatile allowing for serious dancing with a nice sound system at one end, and a more quiet café style seating conducive to conversations at the other end. We worked with Josh, who was warm, organized and ran the event seamlessly. The cost of the event was also very reasonable. Many fond memories!
Perfect Wedding VenueReviewed on 10/26/2015
Housing Works Bookstore as well as their catering crew were beyond amazing from start to finish. We had our entire wedding there, ceremony as well as reception, and everything and everyone there far exceeded our expectations in every single way. It was a magical night, and Josh and Amanda (plus all other staff) make you feel so well taken care of every step of the way. The venue itself is beautiful, and The Works Catering did a stellar job on the food and bar service. We're still getting compliments on how delicious the food was over a month after the event. I can't say enough about how much we love everyone at Housing Works, and how grateful we are to have been so well taken care of, on our most special day.
Intimate, personal & stylishReviewed on 10/26/2015
Our wedding took place at the Housing Works Bookstore, Soho, NYC on May 3rd 2015 and we cannot recommend this venue highly enough. The venue creates an effortlessly chic space with a stylish quirkiness that simultaneously creates intimacy and a sense of occasion. The food was of an excellent quality and everything was catered to suit our taste and aesthetic. Amanda, Josh and the whole team were very caring and considerate throughout the entire process and we felt entirely safe in their hands. Weddings are so expensive and we were so glad that money from our wedding contributed to the great work of this organization and felt double purposed. We just wish we could relive the whole day again. Simon & Paul
Loved itReviewed on 10/26/2015
Housing Works was perfect. The aesthetics were exactly what we wanted and the overall feel of the wedding was real special. Everyone raved about the food. The only thing I would say is that I wish there was an actual rehearsal. I was a little unclear, day of, how things were to get off the ground. Perhaps that was my fault. But other than slight uneasiness on my part in the very beginning we couldn't be happier with the location, venue, and vibe of Housing Works. I would highly recommend it and have to others.
Amazing venue and fabulous staffReviewed on 10/26/2015
When we first found Housing Works Bookstore Cafe I knew it would be the perfect location to marry my husband. The beauty of the dark wood, the idea of being surrounded by books as we said our vows, and the mission drive nonprofit of Housing Works got both of us very excited about the venues potential. With that said, it was the staff that really transformed this potential into reality. From guidance on how best to utilize the space to helping construct a timeline the event staff was incredibly helpful. On the day of the bookstore was transformed into an elegant space and the Works Catering supplied a delicious spread, our family still talks about the food at our wedding. From the moment we started working with Housing Works Bookstore to the night of the wedding, I felt both excited and confident in our selection of venue and caterer. They were great to work with and delivered an amazing event.
Housing Works Is the Best!Reviewed on 10/26/2015
We had such a wonderful time at our wedding reception at the Housing Works Bookstore, using The Works Catering. They really excelled every step of the way, and we would recommend them to anyone. First, throughout the planning process, they were responsive, professional, and on top of everything. They answered a ton of our questions and were very flexible, accommodating several changes late in the game (menu and bar changes, head count changes, etc.). They provide their own in-house catering, which was great for us as there were lots of things we didn't really have to think about (hiring a separate caterer, party rentals, etc.) They held a wonderful and fun tasting event a couple of months before our reception, where we could not only taste a really impressive chunk of their extensive seasonal menu and wine selection, but also see exactly how the venue would be set up on the night, which was really helpful. On the night of our reception, they were real champs - they got the venue set up incredibly quickly, were very accommodating to all our vendors, and were unfailingly nice and sweet to all of our family members wandering around the space (but also very good about keeping extraneous guests out until the venue was good and ready). They went above and beyond, for example cueing our wedding ceremony and making sure the whole dinner service went smoothly - totally eliminating the need for a wedding planner/coordinator. The food was wonderful - we got so many compliments from our guests. And they even assigned a staff member to my husband and me for the night, to make sure that we were able to eat and drink without getting overwhelmed by the occasion! I heard numerous comments from our guests aftewards about how nice all of the staff were. For example, a friend of mine dropped a plate of food on the floor, and in no time, people were there to clean it up with a smile and a joke. Everything happened without a hitch and so many of our guests told us that it was "the best wedding ever" - with the fun and intimate setting, friendly staff, etc. And let's not forget that Housing Works does amazing work each and every day. Thanks so much for making our day so fun and great!
Unique and low-stress!Reviewed on 10/26/2015 Kristen L
Planning a wedding through Housingworks was the easiest, least stressful event planning experience possible. Since my wedding 3 weeks ago, several people have called to say that the food was the best they'd ever had at a wedding. The fact that almost everything is provided on-site means there is very little legwork to do. The staff is fantastic and so accommodating.
No bigs, just the all-time greatest wedding anybody ever had in the history of ever.Reviewed on 10/26/2015
We seriously loved every single thing about our Housing Works wedding. It was the ideal blend of classy/beautiful/sophisticated and fun/silly/quirky/casual. We were able to choose a cocktail party style wedding, with no fussy place cards or seating arrangement, which was perfect for us. People grabbed delicious cheeseburgers, fish tacos, noodle dishes, etc in between dancing and partaking of a full open bar and scrumptious, potent signature cocktail. Josh is a genius and took care of every single possible thing so we could just enjoy ourselves. People say your wedding goes by in a blur of details and people—pleasing. I didn't feel that way AT ALL. From the waiters who figured out my favorite apps and found me with them to the bar who learned my drink order, every Housing Works staffer made the whole day easy-breezy. I felt like I could really party with my loved ones from start to finish! I could not recommend this venue more highly!
Amazing Location for Our Wedding!!!Reviewed on 11/03/2014
My husband and I just got married at Housing Works bookstore on Saturday, November 1, 2014. When I say it was everything we could have wanted and more, I truly mean it. We hosted 80 people for an intimate ceremony at 6PM (we opted to close the bookstore early for the event) followed by a dinner reception and dancing. Amanda was awesome making the initial arrangements and walking us through the various options. Josh who ran the event on the day of is spectacular as was his amazing staff who made sure Greg and I always had everything we needed. When our drinks were low, someone was always there to offer a refill and make sure we were enjoying the day. I used to run weddings in college so I know what goes into making an event run smoothly and on time and Josh's execution was flawless. We started the day assuming that at some point, something would go awry and I can honestly say I was happily surprised that nothing went wrong!! For dinner we opted to do a duet option of salmon and vegetable lasagna and they were both fantastic. Both Greg and I loved the bookstore and everyone involved in making the wedding such a beautiful evening all around. Our guests could not say enough about how beautiful a venue it is. If you're looking for a venue for an intimate wedding, we can not recommend this location enough. My only recommendation would be to buy a lot of votive candles for the tables, bar and windows (we bought 300 and used almost all of them!) The candles really add to the decor. Kate & Greg Price
Absolutely amazingReviewed on 10/30/2014 Amy B
I'm so glad I had my wedding here! Not only are you helping a great cause, but the atmosphere is lovely, the setting is unique, and the staff/coordinators are fantastic. The wedding went off without a hitch, and my guests raved about the great time they had. I give them my highest recommendation!
Housing works were incredible!Reviewed on 10/30/2014
Housing works and their event manager Amanda were incredible! I can’t express how much they brought our event together and how grateful we are that we found them. We are a queer couple who really didn’t want a “traditional” ceremony and had phobias about the whole marriage/wedding thing. We honestly didn’t know how we would do it in a way that wasn’t cheesy or uptight. Amanda and Housing Works helped us realize we could have an event that was totally our own and reflected our own values and creativity and was just incredibly intimate, relaxed and down to earth. They are totally responsive on email, very reliable and then add a bunch of extra touches in so you have nothing extra to stress about on the night. I can't recommend them highly enough!
My Daughter Got Married in a Bookstore!!Reviewed on 10/30/2014
My daughter's a journalist who lived in NYC for a few years before moving abroad. When she and her boyfriend decided to get married, she told me that her first choice of venue was "Housing Works" in Manhattan. A bookstore? I was not convinced. I love books, too, but how would that work? The answer: Amazingly, beautifully, wonderfully! A unique and very beautiful store, close to NYU and Washington Square. The staff, led by Josh and Amanda, helped us through every planning stage, not an easy task with the bride and groom in Istanbul, the groom's family in NJ, and the bride's Mom and Dad (me) in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. But it worked seamlessly. Really. And on the day, it was pure magic. Great staff, delicious food, lots of wine, many toasts, much dancing and laughing. Josh oversaw every detail with great humor and calm. Every father of the bride wants only one thing: his daughter's happiness. And Jenna glowed with joy and love. The pictures all show shelves of books as a backdrop for my lovely daughter, her very lucky husband, and our happy families and friends, all having a great time. Thanks to Housing Works. There's an afterglow too. All profits go to help the homeless and victims of AIDS in New York. That's not why we chose the venue, but it was very nice touch. Thanks. Tom and Bonnie