Best Bars For Groups In Washington DC

July 4, 2013 8:00 AM

So, you are looking to hit the town for a fun night out or a great after-work happy hour, but you are not trying to make the mistake of bringing your party of six to a small hole in the wall. Here are some of our favorite spots for hanging out with a group of three or a group of 12. Oh, and did we mention they all have great drinks as well? No worries, you can thank us later for the tips.

Photo Credit: Nellie's

Photo Credit: Nellie’s

Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-6355

Love roof decks, top 40 hits and good drinks and food? Then make sure to bring your group to Nellie’s on U Street. With a large roof deck and ample seating throughout, you and your group of friends are bound to have a good time without feeling cramped. With dancing space on both the roof deck and in the bar, you will be able to get down without worrying about injuring yourself or some stranger near you.

Photo Credit: Red Derby via Facebook

Photo Credit: Red Derby via Facebook

Red Derby
3718 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 291-5000

Quite possibly the best dive bar in DC, Red Derby not only allows you to get some air on its large rooftop, but the bar provides extensive seating options for large groups and the best board and card game options anyone could ask for. Enjoy Apples to Apples (that kids’ game where you match adjectives to nouns, but once you turned 21, became an hilarious adult drinking game) or the darker version Cards Against Humanity. Not into games? No worries, you can also sit back and enjoy a great selection of canned beer or dangerously priced rail specials.

Photo Credit: American Ice Co. via Facebook

Photo Credit: American Ice Co. via Facebook

American Ice Company
917 V St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 758-3562

American Ice Company is a no-dress-code, zero-frills bar with old-school wooden booths, exposed brick walls and the perfect amount of room to comfortably hang out with one friend or a group of 12. Dimly lit and very low key, the bulk of seating is at large communal tables on an outside deck where you can enjoy beers served in mason jars from the varied selection of draft beers or enjoy the great barbecue and other eats.

Related: Best Ways To Party Like A Movie Star In Washington DC

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Science Club
1136 19th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-0747

With a name like Science Club, you’d expect nerds in white lab coats, chalkboards and maybe a large dance floor? Well, you would be wrong on two of those counts. You can find a chalkboard, installed so patrons can write random computations or graffiti. Housed in an old brownstone crammed between downtown DC office buildings, Science Club looks like it should be occupied by science enthusiasts discussing the latest physics developments, but ignore the façade and inside you will find a unique four-level bar with nooks and hidden crannies that can accommodate small to large groups.

Photo Credit: Dodge City

Photo Credit: Dodge City via Facebook

Dodge City
917 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-9080

Don’t let the entrance to Dodge City fool you, this laid-back lounge with an excellent beer selection has far more seating than you would expect from the crammed bar. With both a large patio and a roof deck, there is more than enough room for you and your friends to spread out and enjoy a few drinks and the funky music being played by the DJs. If you are looking for a bar that is less sleek and clean, Dodge City is the offshoot of the neighboring Velvet Lounge, a much older and grittier rock-club with cheap drinks and zero frills.

Photo Credit: The Brixton via Facebook

Photo Credit: The Brixton via Facebook

The Brixton
901 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 560-5045

A pseudo-British pub overlooking Ninth and U streets, the Brixton, a ground-floor tavern topped with both a lounge and a spectacular rooftop deck, is the perfect spot for small to large groups, offering seating options that fit both. While the rooftop deck can become quite crowded come 10 p.m., dealing with the large crowds is definitely worth it for the charming lounge décor, reminiscent of a Scottish lodge and the expertly made gin martinis. If the bar is not too crowded, getting the chance to speak to the courteous bartenders may be just as pleasant as the excellent views from the rooftop deck. 

Related: Best Late-Night Activities Beyond Bars In The DC Area

Matthew Scott is a freelance writer covering all things Washington DC. His work can be found on

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