Royal Wedding Parties Ready to Toast

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 11:39 AM PDT
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A grocery store will start serving authentic wedding cake in its parking lot at 1 a.m. A British pub will offer unlimited sparkling wine over breakfast as early as state law allows. A casino will set up a Polaroid photo shoot between customers and royalty impersonators during an afternoon blowout.

Across an ocean and eight time zones away, plans to observe Friday’s royal wedding on Westminster Abbey are materializing in San Diego, providing locals a variety of venues at which to celebrate the union between Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Among the options, Shakespeare Pub & Grill in Mission Hills is opening its doors at 6 a.m. with eggs Benedict, wild smoked salmon, seasonal fruit and sparkling wine.

It will re-air parts of the pre-ceremony, which can be seen live at 1 a.m. PST on NBC, before rolling the taped wedding footage, expected to originally air at about 3 a.m.

A nod to the British tradition of women wearing hats at weddings, the pub will award a prize to the female patron who wins a “best hat” competition.

With a 92-person capacity inside the pub and about another 25 people permitted on its deck, the business has already sold out all of its $19.95 morning reservations.

“Honestly, I think we could have sold it twice over,” said Ruth Thomas, general manager. “We’ve been turning people away for the last 48 hours."

The pub is now planning a second celebration at 3:30 p.m.

Viejas Casino, located in Alpine, has ordered enough cake to serve about 1,500 people in its V Lounge from 3-5 p.m.

The casino booked talent to impersonate Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Middleton. Guests can also have their photos taken with a faceless Beafeater cardboard cutout, and wedding footage will air on flat screens across the casino floor.

“We’re not having any gambling on the wedding itself,” said Vicky Pasche, promotions and events manager. “But people are more than welcome to play at the slot machines and table games.”

All Things Bright and British, a La Mesa grocery store specializing in British goods,  will hold a live viewing at its store and adjacent parking lot, which will have a projector television and canopied seating area.

The event kicks off a week-long open house celebrating over 30 years of customer loyalty and a changing of guard in family ownership, said entering owner Bill Jaynes.

He added it is a “strictly, strictly no-booze affair,” and a unique one at that.

“I’m almost metaphysically certain that there will be no other grocery store in town that is open broadcasting the wedding,” Jaynes said.

The store will offer some food samplings during the viewing, to which admission is free.

Complimentary items will include tea, jam, scones and a cake that uses the exact recipe of the royal wedding cake.

People are advised to bring their own chairs to guarantee outdoor seating.

“Anyone’s welcome," Jaynes said. "The more the merrier. Come and enjoy.”

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