Dear PoP – Best Place to Host a Holiday Party?

Photo by PoPville Flickr user HoodSweatsh

“Dear PoP,

I have a question that I am always faced with and maybe you would be interested in posting on your blog for thoughts – I usually end up responsible for finding the place to host my work’s holiday party, as well as other work events (going away parties, retirements, etc.). I work at a nonprofit with about 40 people, and it is really hard to find a cool place that is inexpensive to host such events. Since you’re hosting your party at Wonderland, that might a good option. Any other thoughts?”

I agree Wonderland is a great spot. You could also check with the folks at Red Derby (14th and Quincy) who are always very accommodating. Where would you guys recommend?

23 Comment

  • I hear the jerk chicken place right by the Petworth metro is a good place for parties.

  • Green Lantern, cheap beer and video bar. Totes work friendly

  • The Miss Ann down at the gangplank. The owners post a very high price, but can be convinced to negotiate….I was on board last year for the parade of lights, and it has a wonderful feel for the holidays when decorated.


  • Big Hunt has a couple extra rooms that you can rent out

  • The Saloon has an upstairs – I’ve attended a couple of private events there. No idea about the cost, though.

  • Florida Park

  • My wife and I had a rehearsal dinner after-party thingy at Chi Cha Lounge. They were really nice and accommodating. I think they have some kind of room of the side or downstairs.

  • I’ve also hosted parties in the upstairs at Wonderland, and they were always extremely helpful and easy to work with. I don’t remember the details, but unlike a lot of places around town, the minimums on different things were very reasonable.

  • Chief Ike’s will rent out one or both sides of their upstairs. I’ve also been to events organizations have done at Pharmacy Bar and The Reef on 18th St.

  • the upstairs room at vinoteca is great. i attended a great party there, but sadly have no idea about the cost.

  • I would recommend the upstairs room @ RedRocks on 11th and Park NW. Great beer menu and I’m sure they would make some tasty holiday cocktails to accompany the yummy ‘za!

  • agree with irp… red rocks could not be more accomodating and friendly for a gathering! you might be hard pressed to squeeze 40 people in the upstairs though…

  • I helped arrange something at Marty’s near Capitol Hill, if that area works for you. I think it was reasonably priced from what I can recall.

  • We’ve always had a lot of good luck at Hamilton’s. And, if your office is anywhere near the hill, Rock and Roll Hotel is also a great option.

  • We had our post-rehearsal-dinner party at Bourbon in Adams Morgan. Since it’s mostly a late night place, you can have a pretty big crowd on the second floor earlier in the evening, for a happy hour, and have it mostly to yourselves. There’s no extra charge.

  • While I’ve never actually looked into it, I’m sure the Black Cat would be a good place. They have many different rooms to work with. Also, they don’t usually open until later so you could probably convince them to open a little earlier for you at very little cost.

  • The Reef on the 18th street has a downstairs (right on 18th) that friends of mine have hired for something like $100 plus a minimum at the bar. The size is about right…I think they have four dozen or so people attend.

  • @DCster Marty’s no longer exists. It’s now Cava.

    On the Hill: I like Top of the Hill a lot (above Pour House), and Lounge 201 over on Mass Ave. has a great private room. I also love the American Legion on 3rd and D SE, if you don’t mind bringing your own food and booze – it’s cheap and easy. Cantina Marina is also a great spot, down on the water.

    I’ve also had great parties at the Derby, and you can rent the second floor at Adam’s Mill for cheap and it’s actually a really okay spot.

    But, you said you’re looking for a work thing, so not sure you’re necessarily looking for a bar. Where’s your office? Generally what’s your budget? What is the age/demographic of the staff? Are these after work things, or lunch things, or afternoon things? How important is the food/booze ratio? Does your office pay, or does everyone pay for themselves? These are all things that make a difference. (Can you tell I host a lot of events?)

  • Somebody told me Duffy’s has a really cool back room..least that’s what I hear.

  • Here are my favorites for spaces with private rooms for dinner/cocktail reception for staff which is fun, not too expensive, and great spaces/food:

    – Tabard Inn (Room 24)
    – CoCo Sala
    – The Madison Hotel (they have a cool lounge room near the bar you can rent)
    – Darlington House (2nd floor)
    – Cafe Milano
    – Zola
    – Zola Kitchen
    – Bistro Bis

  • Go to and buy a copy of Unique Meeting, Wedding and Party Venues in Greater Washington

  • Wonderland for sure…such a fun bar.

  • I second Andy Duffy’s self promotion. That back room is pretty great. And Andy is always there to make sure you’ve got everything you want

Comments are closed.