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Feb 1, 2014 07:54 AM

Restaurant seating 100 plus dance space (for bat mitzvah)?

In November our daughter will be a bat mitzvah. We're looking for restaurants within 30 minutes (max) of the Bethesda/Rockville area that can seat up to 110 people while still offering a small dance area.

Our daughter prefers Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and Japanese foods. The only foods she has said she really doesn't want are Chinese and Italian, which limits the search somewhat. I should mention that we don't want to make the event ridiculously expensive because we don't have the money to do so.

We are going to look at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville and Jackie's in Silver Spring. From here, I've read about Tysons Corner's Clyde's as a possibility. We've also considered Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda. (Jaleo Bethesda might be a possibility, but I think we'd have to rent the whole restaurant if we have 110 seated diners, which would likely be cost-prohibitive.)

Anyone have other ideas that would work with these parameters?

Thanks very much.

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  1. If this is a dinner event, you are unlikely to find a place that won't be prohibitively expensive because you will not only have to rent the entire place, but do so for the entire evening. That means the owner would need to charge you something nearing what they would ordinarily bring in with at least one turnover of tables. So if the restaurant can serve 110 at a time, that means about 200 meals would be served in an evening.

    Granted, the per-head cost would likely be lower if it is not full-menu, but a set meal.

    You might be better off with lunch, when prices are usually lower anyway.

    Why don't you look into the cost of a more traditional set-up (rent a space, hire a caterer). Try Strathmore Hall. I think they can take that many people in a single room and you could have dancing in an adjacent room.

    I can't see Clydes in Tysons working for you. The one room is large enough to hold that many people, but the restaurant is very large. Renting it out would be very expensive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Just Visiting

      Tyson's Clydes has an upstairs private room. I've been to functions where both the hors d'ouevres and the meal/party take place in the same upstairs room. I've also been to functions where the hors d'ouevures were served in the garden room to the right of the entrance and the meal/party took place upstairs.

      1. re: Indy 67

        Sorry! I actually knew that but completely forgot. I've been going there for years. The food goes up and down. It is basically bar/comfort food & all-American. Not sure I'd trust them with Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and Japanese foods. OTOH, though these are the daughter's preferences, the party is for 110 people, not 100, so OP may want to go with something more generic.

    2. I'm probably the person whose Tysons Corner Clydes post you saw. Here are a few more options:
      2941: Somewhat farther around the Beltway but probably right at your limit since the restaurant is right at the exit. Nice private rooms. Open Table gives this a $$ price rating.

      Jaleo Crystal City is probably too far to meet your requirement but it has a private room for 120 without requiring a buyout.

      I have no personal experience with Redwood (Bethesda), but the list of private room venues on Open Table says it can accommodate numbers like you're talking about. $$ rating on Open Table.

      Here's the Open Table link to private rooms:

      1. I attended a bat mitzvah at the Brazilian steakhouse, Chima in Tyson's Corner a few years ago. It was held on a Saturday or Sundat afternoon. There was dancing too.
        Since the restaurant isn't normally open for lunch on the weekends, there weren't other guests.

        1. If you're willing to consider Indian, Indique Heights in Chevy Chase can handle those numbers easily.

          1. aren't bar/bats mitzvah usually held on a Sunday? - usually a slow night, should open up availabilities.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hill food

              To answer your question: no. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah can be held any day the Torah (Hebrew Bible Scroll) is taken out to be read. Technically, this can be Shabbat (Saturday) morning or afternoon, Monday or Thursday mornings, and any Jewish holiday. Since those holidays follow a lunar calendar, a holiday might fall on a Sunday. However, 99% of American Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are held on Saturday morning.

              Of course, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah has come to include both the religious ceremony and a social event. The OP is asking about a place to hold the party. While it's quite common for the party to take place the night of the morning service, I've never encountered a Bar/Bat Mitzvah where the two portions took place on different days entirely.

              Still, you're thinking in the right direction. There are restaurants that do not offer lunch service on the weekend but which do a brisk business in Bar/Bat Mitzvah luncheon parties. Farther upthread, another poster mentioned Chima as an example.

              1. re: Indy 67

                thanks for the clarification! I get a 'bump' if I can feel slightly less un-informed on a regular basis! I couldn't remember when friends kids had theirs.