Summer is nearly here, which means it’s time to start entertaining interns, summer associates, clients, and corporate groups. Here’s a look at the Washington area’s newest bars, restaurants, hotels, activity venues, and fresh-air-friendly spaces for corporate picnics, company gatherings, outdoor teambuilding activities and games, and other types of summer entertaining.
1. Terrace at 101 Constitution
The Terrace at 101 Constitution, located on the ninth floor of the 101 Constitution building, is comprised of a terrace, reception space, and conference room. Smaller groups of 12 can take advantage of the conference space with its views of the Capitol from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The conference room can be combined with the reception area for larger parties of 80 indoors, with an additional 45 on the outdoor terrace.
2. Irish Whiskey Public House
Irish Whiskey Public House, which originally opened near Dupont Circle in January, debuted its front patio in late March. Facing 19th Street, the patio is lined with oversize wooden beer barrels and can host an additional 40 for receptions. Indoors, the 8,000-square-foot restaurant and bar can seat 30 on the main floor, which can also host about 60 for receptions, plus an additional 30 in the basement bar. The private Dublin Room on the third floor can accommodate 80 and also has its own bar, lounge seating, and a separate bathroom.
Richard Sandoval’s Zengo restaurant expanded in February with the opening of its new 135-seat Latin Lounge on the lower level of the restaurant. The intimate space within the renowned Chinatown restaurant has its own menu of small plates, spirits, and happy hour cocktails separate from the main dining room. Tequila, rum, and pisco tasting can also be arranged for groups.
The Madison recently expanded its dining options with the opening of Postscript in March. The new eatery has alfresco seating for 18 plus an additional 130 inside. There are 68 seats in the café plus a communal table for 10 near the 8-person barista bar. There is also has a private room for about 50, depending on the arrangement.
5. Town Hall
Glover Park staple Town Hall restaurant moved a few blocks up Wisconsin Avenue in January to a larger 8,000-square-foot space. The new location has seating for nearly 100 on its first floor. The second floor has its own bar and three rooms that can seat 60 throughout, or host 250 for receptions, plus a pool table. The restaurant is equipped with 13 TVs and has a bilevel patio accommodating 200 that can be tented.
McPherson Square got a new sushi outpost in mid-February with the opening of Fujimar restaurant. The restaurant has modern architecture with four areas including the 700-square-foot patio that can seat 50 or host 100 for receptions. Inside the main floor can can seat 50 in the dining room or accommodate as many as 300 for receptions when combined with the sushi room and bar. For medium-size events, the 2,500-square-foot lounge basement can host 200. The restaurant is equipped with a professional sound and lighting systems as well as DJ booth, Wi-Fi, and LCD projectors.
7. The Dunes L.L.C.
For a more customizable space, independent venue the Dunes L.L.C. opened in October in Columbia Heights and has an open layout that can host a variety of event arrangements. The space can accommodate dinners for 20 to 60 people, theater seating for 100, or receptions of as many as 150 people. The venue is equipped with lighting and sound systems, a full alcohol license, and a photo studio.
8. D.C. Reynolds
D.C. Reynolds opened April 1 in the Petworth area of Washington. The new 1,100-square-foot eatery has a beer garden, complete with the District flag on the brick flooring, accommodating 100 for receptions or seated amidst picnic tables. The bilevel interior has all exposed brick walls and dartboards and an old fashioned jukebox for entertainment. There is seating for 78 throughout the bar and second floor, which houses the exhibition kitchen. Local brews D.C. Brau, Port City and Lost Rhino are all on tap to complement the home-cooking menu.
9. Rasika West End
The aptly-named Rasika West End, sister property to D Street’s Indian restaurant Rasika, debuted in the West End March 29. For outdoor entertaining, a patio will open May 1 seating 40, or hosting 50 standing, for the summer season. Indoors can seat 155 and has three private dining options inside: the library for 35, Window View Room for 10, and chef’s table for eight near the kitchen. The menu includes the pictured appetizer called tawa fish.
10. La Forchetta
La Forchetta opens in Northwest Washington today. The 3,150-square-foot casual eatery specializes in Italian cuisine, with an in-house pizza station seating 12. The decor sports an 11-foot art installation of the Mona Lisa. Throughout the summer, the patio will be open with seating for 30, plus an additional 10 for receptions. The main dining room can accommodate 116 people with 20 seated in the exhibition kitchen.
(Originally published 4.2.2012 in BizBash Washington)