event spaces and can host private events of
up to 220 attendees.
“On trend with what’s happening across
the country, we’re seeing an increase in
local wineries, breweries and distilleries,”
Van Horn said. “What I’m seeing in Mont-
gomery County is that nearly all of them
have some sort of tasting room. It’s not just
being able to drink the beer or the spirit,
but the tasting room itself has become part
of the experience.”
Twin Valley Distillers in Rockville, the
first distillery to operate in the county since
the end of Prohibition, offers tours and
private tastings for smaller groups.
For groups between 20 and 400,
dog-friendly Denizens Brewing Company
in Silver Spring serves handcrafted offerings in an offbeat and friendly atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
in Dickerson can host events of up to 25
people for a seated meal and 40 for a standing tasting event.
Brookeville Beer Farm synergizes sustainable farming and brewing practices
and hosts a Farmers Market with local artisans and food vendors every Saturday. The
venue closes to the public on Mondays and
Tuesdays in order to host private events of
up to 100 attendees. Private events of 35 attendees or less can be booked on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Some venues in this category don’t serve
food, but this isn’t necessarily a drawback.
“What’s cool about the venues that
don’t offer food themselves is that they
allow food to come in,” Van Horn explained. “That helps a lot with groups who
have both budgetary and special dietary
“The biggest trend that I’m seeing is food
that is tied to an experience,” Van Horn
said. “I’ve been at a number of meetings
where, oh, yay, it’s another big long table in
the middle of a restaurant.”
Increasingly, attendees want to engage
with their destinations more than they can
in big long-table meals.
“After a long day of meetings, attendees are looking for dining options that go
beyond just the usual group dinners,” Van
In many ways, the still-unfolding Pike &
Rose development in North Bethesda was
designed in the spirit of this trend. Of special note is the newly opened Pinstripes.
“What they offer is all the amenities of a
conference center,” according to Van Horn,
including state-of-the-art audiovisual ca-
pabilities, a 240-seat ballroom and locally
sourced Italian-American cuisine, “but in
a fun setting with bocce ball and bowling
and a really cool rooftop terrace.”
Also at Pike & Rose is the soon-to-open
Canopy Hotel by Hilton, which will feature
a 3,000-square-foot rooftop terrace looking
out over the new neighborhood.
For groups of 10 people or less, Urban
Winery in Silver Spring offers wine-tast-ing classes in its barrel room. For reception-style gatherings, Urban Winery can
accommodate up to 60 guests in its ware-house-chic setting with polished concrete
floors and an open wood ceiling.
Though not a food venue per se, Glen
Echo Park in Glen Echo is an arts and cultural center, the site of which was originally
developed as a National Chautauqua Assembly and then served as an amusement
park. The National Park Service currently
manages the grounds, celebrated for such
features as the historic Art Deco Spanish
ballroom and the still-operational 1921
Dentzel menagerie carousel.
A long-time favorite for destination weddings, Glen Echo Park has recently been
expanding its meeting and event offerings.
Planners who wish to stage an event with a
meal may choose from a list of nine dedicated caterers.
For more than 30 years, the Mansion at
Strathmore has hosted an afternoon tea ev-
TWIN VALLEY DISTILLERS, ROCKVILLE
Latest + Greatest
GLEN ECHO PARK, GLEN ECHO
➜ Situated in the new Pike & Rose development, the Canopy by Hilton Washington DC Bethesda North (http://canopy3.
hilton.com) will offer 6,500 square feet
of prime event space with state-of-the-art technology, including a ballroom and
rooftop deck. The hotel is slated to open
in April 2018.
➜ The American Inn of Bethesda (www.
american-inn.com) recently upgraded
the technology in its two meeting rooms
and completed a soft renovation of its
➜ The Bethesda Court Hotel ( www.bethes
dacourtwashdc.com) updated its 74
guest rooms as well as the hotel lobby.
➜ The Bethesda Marriott Hotel ( www.mar
riott.com) recently opened the doors
on its “head-to-toe” transformation,
boasting amenities like walk-in rain
showers in the guest rooms. The venue
features nearly 30 event rooms for a
total of more than 19,000 square feet
of event space.
➜ The Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase
( www.marriott.com) updated both its
meeting space and guest accommoda-
tions. The venue provides 3, 100 square
feet of flexible event space, including an
outdoor terrace with theater-style seating.
➜ The Courtyard Gaithersburg Marriott
Washingtonian Center ( www.marriott.
com) updated its 2,700 square feet of
event space with fresh paint, carpet
➜ The Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center (www3.
hilton.com) finished a comprehensive
update to its facilities and also added to
its existing meeting space. The facility
now offers more than 35,000 square
feet of event space customized to the
needs of meeting groups.
➜ The Hyatt Regency Bethesda (https://
a multimillion-dollar overhaul of its
entire facility, which offers more than
20,000 square feet of meeting and
event space. The audiovisual-ready
venue provides 19 meeting rooms,
including two executive boardrooms as
well as a rooftop meeting space.