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Good Location for Big Group Lunch?

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I'm looking for a good location to host a farewell lunch for a departing colleague;
I estimate there will be 50 people in attendance, all frugal government types looking to spend not more than $15-$20.
Ideally located near Pentagon or the Navy Yard.
Any suggestions?

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  1. Places we have done with the above crowd: Chevy's, Chammps, Joe Theisman's, Marriott Crystal Gateway, Hamlet, Olive Garden (Bailey's), Sine. I discovered that no one really wanted to go anywhere "fancy" and that the chains seemed to be the biggest hits. Let me know if you have specific questions.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maoj

      Thank you! That's kinda what I thought...I was wondering if there wasn't a "hidden gem" out there I've not heard of or considered. Appreciate your reply!

    2. ThaiPhoon in Pentagon Row

      1. 50 is a pretty big party, which pretty much means that either you have to take over the whole restaurant for lunch (not very popular) or it needs to be a large place with a party room, which almost always means a chain.

        I had one of my farewell lunches at Chevy's in Pentagon City, but that was nearly 10 years ago, and it was only about a dozen people, certainly fewer than 16. We had a long table. But I think they have enough space to accommodate 50, taking over one room without wiping out the whole restaurant for the regular lunch crowd.

        1. Might be worth a call to the new Columbia Firehouse Grill (took over the Portner's space on St. Asaph in Old Town). Early buzz is good. The menu prices are right, it's standard American fare, and I'm sure they've got a space big enough, and new enough that they probably aren't booked up at lunchtime yet.