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Birthday party help, Round 2.

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Last year I posted about being down to the wire trying to make birthday plans. This year I started early, but plans fell through and now I'm back to square 1, hoping the fantastic Chowhound community may be able to help out once again.

I'm turning 29 and want some kind of semi-private bar space where about 20-30 people can hang out and drink. Ideally I would like to have some appetizers, like maybe a table set up with some sliders and/or flatbreads, or something like that. I'll pay for the appetizers while my guests can buy drinks from a cash bar. Ideally, one that is ours or mostly ours.

Whitlow's in Arlington lets (or at least used to let) you use one of the back bars for a given amount of time until it gets busy (if I recall correctly). That's exactly what I have in mind. Problem is, we ended up at Whitlow's for my birthday last year. And this year I'd like to be in the downtown/Chinatown/Penn Quarter areas, but I'm also open to, say, Dupont or somewhere else fairly central and metro-accessible as well.

I attempted to work with Ping Pong Dim Sum on renting out some of their space and doing a fun dim sum-style party, but their events people have not been cooperating with me.

At this point I'm having such a hard time that I'm considering trying to find a large hotel suite to have my own party, but that's getting into more-than-I-can-spend territory. Although ideas for an affordable suite that has a bedroom, balcony and kitchen(ette) are welcome too.

Help? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I tried to do something similar this year for my 30th and most places wanted some sort of a minimum.

    You might want to look at One Lounge in Dupont. I looked there and their minimum was really workable---it basically was the equivalent of 1 drink/person...not bad at all since that's what most people will order. They also will take the appetizers, bottle service etc out of the minimum if you want to order those things as well. It's a cool place...I went to a friend's engagement party there on a weeknight. We ended up not using it because instead I just decided to get to Bar Dupont early and grab a bunch of tables in the side room (this worked out and I had about the same number of people that you had. They weren't thrilled with all the different checks but worked with it. It's a gamble though in case it's busy).