The Washington Post

Group: Fritz Hahn

Places to hold an engagement party

When you want to host a celebration with your family and friends, book one of these private rooms for cocktails, games and fun.

  • Updated 12/23/2011
  • 6 Items

The subterranean Buffalo Billiards pool hall sprawls for what seems like a whole city block under Dupont Circle, which means there's plenty of room to reserve. The various private spaces hold anywhere from 50 to 200 and feature couches, pool tables, dart boards and shuffleboard tables, though they can have hefty room rental fees and bar minimums, depending on the night and time. Thrifty hosts can just book pool or shuffleboard tables by the hour and let guests hang out at tables or in a couch-filled nook nearby.


This is the perfect spot for couples with a sweet tooth: Reserve the glimmering private dining room or space in the mod lounge for chocolates and cocktails, book the outdoor garden for up to 60 people, or bring 300 people to the rooftop deck, which offers Capitol views.


The friendly, welcoming Irish pub never charges a room rental fee for the cozy James Joyce room, which has its own bar and space for up to 60. Most of the time, there's no per-person minimum either, though this depends on the night of the week and how long your reservation lasts.


Well-crafted cocktails, delicious and quirky bar snacks, a (completely free) pool table and a variety of seating areas make Jackie's Sidebar suitable for groups of 10 to 50. For larger parties, there's the Back Room, which is big enough to hold a band.


The award-winning PX is one of the area's classiest places to have a drink, but a private parties at the neo-speakeasy doesn't come cheap. A three-hour event requires a $70 minimum per person on cocktails (add $30 for snacks) for groups of 20 to 40, and a minimum of $3,500 to close the place to the public. But for smaller groups, there is a somewhat less expensive way: 10 to 14 people can occupy the cozy little Blue Room Lounge for two hours for a minimum $500 food and drink tab.


Science Club owner Steve Maguire says he held at least four engagement parties in the first weeks of December. It's easy to see why: The three-level lounge oozes laid-back cool, and there's no charge to reserve a room Sunday through Thursday. (On weekends, the bar usually charges between $100 and $150 to reserve a floor, though they're "totally flexible" depending on the night and time.) Smaller groups can take tables near the dance floor or in the dimly lit basement; there's room for 60 upstairs.

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