DC offers plenty of event space

There are already 13 holiday-themed fundraisers for members of Congress in the next two weeks, according to the Sunlight Foundation. And a plethora of holiday parties have already started at the White House. Last year, it invited nearly 12,000 guests to about 20 parties, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Yet the city will be teeming with a host of lower-profile soirees as well. The Hill rounded up a list of a few locations to host a bash for those without access to The East Room of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar 

(223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)

Located on Capitol Hill a few blocks from the House office buildings, this multileveled restaurant can accommodate 25 to 275 guests. Sonoma touts its lounge-style seating, featuring couches and club chairs, and a view of the upper level of the Library of Congress.

It features two lounge areas that can be rented out, as well as a private dining room, and it will accommodate breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply cocktails. It also features a 40-bottle wine list that can be served by the glass.

Lounge 201 

(201 Massachusetts Ave. NE)

This downstairs bar on the other end of the Capitol is more tailored to cocktail parties but also features a wide-ranging food menu. The front area is separated from the two reserved sections by the large, red, circular bar.

Its interior is composed of red and black and can accommodate between 30 and 300 guests. The lounge is also known for mixing themed cocktails for receptions.

It served up politically themed drinks during the 2008 debate watch-parties (the McCain Old-Fashioned and Obamaretto Sour) and Young Republican Receptions (the Osama Bin Gotten and the Oil Slick).

It hosted a fundraising reception for Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) on Wednesday that featured “Specialty Holiday Cocktails.”


(701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)

Across the street from the National Archives, this restaurant and lounge serves up a Modern American menu and features live jazz Thursday through Sunday. 701 can accommodate private and semi-private events. It features a 12-person private dining room and three other spaces that can be reserved to house as many as 300 people. It also features a private bar for receptions that can hold 60 people.

W Hotel 

(515 15th St. NW)

The W Hotel is the oldest hotel in the city and has 12,000 square feet of space for any type of event, from the large Great Room ballroom to the POV Roof Terrace and Altitude Rooftop ballroom. The 11th-floor rooftop gives guests a view of the White House a few blocks away, and is described as “comfy-chic.”

Morrison Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant 

(1015 L St. NW)

Originally built in 1864, this restored hotel just blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center maintains much of its original design, including “medallioned ceilings, Italian Carrera decorative-marble fireplaces” and a “red-tiled Shanghai roof,” according to its website.

This small venue can accommodate between 10 and 50 guests. There are four spaces from which to choose, including the Courtyard. It also features breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktail reception menus. A tea menu is an option that is served with finger sandwiches, cookies and truffles.

The Hay-Adams 

(800 16th St. NW)

Just north of the White House, this hotel offers six meeting rooms in a building of Italian Renaissance design. It features two spots specifically for a holiday party: The Top of the Hay and the Off the Record bar, which was ranked one of the world’s best hotel bars by Forbes.

The Top of the Hay is located on the ninth floor and offers views of Lafayette Park and the White House. The meeting space can be tailored to house from 15 to 340 guests.